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Learn the basic vocabulary to make it easier to talk about and learn how to use spreadsheets.
Example Google Sheets
- Population by Country (click this link to create your own copy of this spreadsheet.
Vocabulary
- Cell: the building blocks of a spreadsheet. Each cell holds one piece of data.
- Row: a horizontal collection of cells. Each row is identified by a number on the left side of the row.
- Column: a vertical collection of cells. Each column is identified by a letter at the top of the column.
- Spreadsheet: the entire collection of data. Most spreadsheet programs like Excel, refer to this as a worksheet or workbook. Google just calls it a spreadsheet.
- Tab: an organizational unit in a spreadsheet. You can think of them sort of like different pages in the spreadsheet.
- Formula: an equation based on multiple cells.
- Function: formulas that are built into your spreadsheet software are called functions.
- Manual Input: user inputted data into a cell. The difference between manually inputted data versus a cell with a computed value will become increasingly clear over this course.
- Output: a cell with a value that is calculated based on data in other cells. A function is an example of an output cell.
Before we start digging into spreadsheets further, 0:00 let me cover some basic vocabulary. 0:03 Learning this handful of words will make it a lot easier to talk about and 0:05 learn how to use a spreadsheet. 0:10 Let me teach the vocabulary using a real spreadsheet. 0:12 If you'd like to follow along and explore the spreadsheet with me, you can open 0:15 a copy of this spreadsheet by clicking the link in the teachers' notes below. 0:18 This spreadsheet contains data on estimated population levels by country. 0:21 The data source is the United Nations and starts in 1950 and goes through 2015. 0:26 The data is in thousands. 0:30 So, here for Burundi, in 1950, 0:33 this would mean the estimated population then was 2,309,000. 0:35 Cells. 0:39 Cells are the graphical building blocks of a spreadsheet. 0:42 They are where you input data, and 0:46 a collection of cells make up this spreadsheet. 0:47 This is a cell. 0:52 This is a cell. These are all cells. 0:53 All of these spaces are cells with or without data in them. 0:56 Rows. 1:01 Rows are numbered on the left side of your screen, and 1:03 they collect cells horizontally. 1:05 So using this spreadsheet as an example, if we refer to row 5, 1:08 we're talking about the row with Djibouti's population data. 1:11 And all these cells that are now highlighted are included in row 5. 1:16 Note that row 2 is a special type of row that we call a data header row. 1:20 It provides labels for each of the columns that contain data. 1:24 Columns. 1:29 Columns are listed across the top of the spreadsheet just below the toolbar. 1:30 Each column is indicated by a different letter, A, B, C, and so on. 1:34 They are vertical collections of cells. 1:41 In this spreadsheet, when I say column E, 1:43 it means all these cells, everything for 1953. 1:46 Column and 1:50 row are how people typically refer to a cell when discussing spreadsheets. 1:51 You say the column name, then the row name for that cell. 1:55 So, for example you might say, if we look at D6 in this example, 1:59 it's showing 1 185, D6, Eritrea 1952, 1 185, 2:04 meaning the estimated population of Eritrea in 1952 in 1,185,000. 2:09 Or if I say let's look at cell A1, that would refer to this cell, 2:16 which is a blank cell. 2:21 Or, if I wanted to say at cell B4, it would mean Comoros in 1950. 2:23 The spreadsheet is the entire collection of data that you're looking at. 2:31 Most spreadsheet programs like Excel refer to this as a worksheet or workbook. 2:35 Google just calls it a spreadsheet. 2:39 A tab is just an organizational unit in a spreadsheet. 2:42 You can think of them of them sort of like different pages in the spreadsheet. 2:44 But be careful there. 2:48 Sometimes when you print a spreadsheet, there will be multiple pages per tab. 2:49 As you can see here, there are two tabs in this spreadsheet. 2:53 One contains data, and the other is blank. 2:57 But both are part of one spreadsheet. 3:00 Google calls these tabs sheets. 3:03 Using tabs wisely can help a lot with spreadsheet organization. 3:05 And I'll share a few examples of this later on in the course. 3:09 The next basic vocabulary item we want to cover is a formula. 3:12 A formula is an equation based on multiple cells. 3:16 Scrolling down here to a formula that we've prepopulated. 3:20 When I click on this cell, you'll see an equation up here on the top left. 3:27 That's a formula that's calculated in a total of all these cells. 3:32 Don't worry too much about how this equation works yet. 3:36 I'll teach you how to use and create formulas later in this course. 3:38 Formulas that are built into your spreadsheet software are called functions. 3:43 Different software may come with different functions, but by and large, 3:47 the same core group of functions exists, regardless of the software you're using. 3:50 Typically, functions will require you to input data in a particular way. 3:54 For example, a function called sum adds up a bunch of cells. 3:58 I utilize this function by clicking on this cell, pressing = then s. 4:04 The list that just popped up shows the functions I can use in this cell 4:11 that start with the letter s. 4:14 We'll go into more detail about how to use some of the most common functions later in 4:16 this course. 4:19 Manual input. 4:20 A manual input is just that a user has inputted data into a cell. 4:22 Here, I'm starting to add a new entry 4:25 To the population spreadsheet for a imaginary place called Treehouse Island. 4:31 So, I'm manually inputting data into cell B233 for a population of 1,000 in 1950, 4:37 and again, manually inputting data into cell C233 for 4:43 a population of 1,000 in 1951 for Treehouse Island. 4:48 Oftentimes, people will refer to a manually inputted piece of data as 4:53 a hard-coded number. 4:56 Note that this is different than a formula, 4:58 which computes a value based on other cells. 5:00 The importance of the distinction between a cell that has a manually inputted data 5:02 versus a cell that has a computed value will become increasingly clear over this 5:07 course. 5:11 Output. 5:11 An output is a cell with a value that is calculated based on data in other cells. 5:13 A function is an example of an output cell. 5:18 We input data manually or hard-code data. 5:21 The data and all these cells above row 237 are hard-coded, manually inputted data. 5:24 And then the output, in this example, is row 237, 5:29 which is calculating the sum of all the cells above it. 5:32
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