Excel Data Input

Many people just learn one method of Excel data input and then stick with this. But if you are aware of the all different ways to populate your Excel spreadsheet, you will find that you can work much more efficiently.

The most basic way to input data into Excel is to simply select a cell and type directly into it. However, if you want to go back and alter the contents of that cell (without deleting the existing cell contents), you need to put the cell into edit mode. To do this, you can either :

Excel Cell in Edit Mode

When a cell is in edit mode, a cursor appears (either in the cell or in the formula bar), and when you type or paste data into the cell, it appears alongside the existing cell contents. Also, when a cell is in edit mode, you can move your cursor through the cell contents, using the left, right, up and down keys on your keyboard.

Entering a Value Into a Range of Cells

If you want to enter the same value into several cells, you can quickly do this by highlighting all the cells you want to populate, typing in the cell contents and then pressing <CTRL>-Enter (ie. press the Ctrl key, and while this is depressed, press Enter).

This copies the text you have typed into all of the cells in the selected range.

Importing Data Into Excel

If you have data in a different file format, you can import this into Excel. For example, to import data from a text file:


Use the browser to locate the text file with your data in it. Excel then takes you through a series of steps in which you can specifiy how the data in the text file is to be split into separate columns, how the data is formatted in the columns, and whereabouts in your spreadsheet you want to paste the imported data.