How To Make Formulas In Google Sheets – Spreadsheets are an incredibly powerful tool for many tasks – if you know how to use them. Years ago you would have to spend hundreds of dollars on software and countless hours of research to do anything worthwhile. Now, with Google Sheets and our in-depth guide, you can be up and running in minutes for free!
Whether you’re a beginner or experienced with Excel or other spreadsheet programs, our beginner’s guide to using Google Sheets will cover what you need to know to get started. Feel free to use the menu on the left to skip ahead to the sections that are most important to you
How To Make Formulas In Google Sheets
Google Sheets is a cloud-based spreadsheet program that is part of Google’s Office suite called G Suite. Like other Google cloud-based services like Google Drive, Docs, Slides, and, of course, Gmail, G Suite provides a comprehensive productivity platform for businesses and students alike.
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Chances are you’ve seen at least one spreadsheet program before, and Google Sheets isn’t shy about tried-and-true designs. You import or export data to analyze it, perform complex calculations, or store it safely for later use.
What sets Google Sheets apart from its competitors is that it’s completely free to use. All you need is a Google Account, which takes minutes or less to create.
The best comparison for Google Sheets is Microsoft Excel, the leading spreadsheet program for over three decades. Those with Excel experience will find it very easy to learn how to use Google Sheets, as it works almost identically.
For those who have a large catalog of documents in a Microsoft system, you will be happy to know that Google Sheets is fully compatible with Excel files. You can easily switch the two back and forth.
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Many of Excel’s built-in functions are directly equivalent to Google Sheets. In fact, there is no difference between the two in the basic data management functions we cover in this guide. For more advanced users, Excel offers more powerful tools for loading and supporting very large data sets. Google Sheets is limited to 2 million cells of data.
Before we get excited about how to use Google Sheets, there are a few important rules you should know. These are the same principles you’ll find in any other spreadsheet program, so you may already be familiar with them.
The first step in learning how to use Google Sheets is to create a spreadsheet. There are a few ways to do this, but the most convenient is to go directly to the Google Sheets website.
Once you’re there, you may need to sign in to your Google account if you haven’t already. Once you’ve done that, all you have to do is click on one of the templates at the top of the page in the Start a New Spreadsheet area. .
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Most of the time you’ll want to choose nothing, but there are a variety of templates that can save you some time. You can see the full list of templates by clicking on the template gallery at the top right.
Whichever you choose, a new spreadsheet will open automatically. Before you start entering or importing data, you must give your spreadsheet a name in the text field at the top left of the screen. Here are those steps again in a nutshell:
Google Sheets) or click the plus icon at the bottom right of the Google Drive app, then select Google Sheets.
Note that each spreadsheet can contain multiple sheets or pages. At the bottom of the page you’ll see a tab for each sheet in your spreadsheet, as well as a link to add a new sheet.
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Now that you’ve created a spreadsheet, it’s time to learn how to use Google Sheets Before we enter and manipulate data with formulas, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the interface.
When you first open a blank document, you will see something like the image below. Here’s a brief explanation of what each ingredient does to help you feel more comfortable.
Most of the interface is self-explanatory, but we’ll get more into custom controls later in the guide. Now, it’s important to understand how cell numbers work. It’s the backbone of everything a spreadsheet can do.
Each column is labeled across a stop with a letter, and each row is labeled to the left with a number. The single cell is named after the combination of the two. For example, the active cell above is A1. The row with the first three cells on the left will be A1-A3.
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Note that while the active cell above is blue, the color may vary when multiple people are editing the same document. You will be able to see what cell is active for each editor, which can help prevent errors caused by two people editing the same cell at the same time.
It’s also worth mentioning that you can resize any row or column and click and drag the border between it and the adjacent row. You can add or delete all rows or columns by right-clicking and selecting the appropriate option from the drop-down menu.
The first real step in creating an effective spreadsheet is adding data. The easiest way to do this is to click on a cell and type the data directly. You press the Enter key to move down to the next row, or the Tab key to move right to the next list.
However, this is not ideal for large data sets. Entering data manually can take hours (and cleaning certain data sets can take hours), but you can save that time by importing the entire table at once.
Combine Multiple Google Sheets Into One
There are many ways to do this. The first is to simply select a table, download it, and paste it directly into your document. You can easily use this method to copy lists and other information from websites or other sources.
Another way is to import an existing spreadsheet or a supported file type. Almost all popular spreadsheet file types are supported, and you can find the full list below
To import a file into Google Sheets, click File at the top right, then Import Next, you must find or upload your document and click Select
Now you can choose the option to import your files. Depending on the file type, not all of the options seen above may be available. Once you’ve made your decision, click submit data and you’re good to go. Here are those steps again in a nutshell:
Advanced Google Sheets Functions That Will Make Your Life Easier
Now that you have the data in your spreadsheet, you may want to adjust the formatting before you start working with it. Often Google Sheets formats your data correctly, but sometimes it needs to be edited manually. Most of this can be done directly from the toolbar, but the Format tab has advanced options.
For numbers, you can choose between simple decimal, percentage, date, currency, and more. You can increase or decrease the number of decimal places displayed using the main toolbar. Note that this does not change or rotate the actual value, only the displayed number.
For regular text, you have the following options for bold, italic, underline, and line type, line size, and alignment. The cells themselves can be formatted as well. You can change the background color, merge or untranslate cells, or add borders
To speed up your formatting, you can select an entire column or row by clicking letters or numbers at the top or left of the screen.
Google Sheets Can Now Suggest Corrections For Your Formulas
Merging cells is one of the most basic ways to format your spreadsheets, and it should be one of the first things you learn to do. Fortunately, this is one of the easiest things you can do in the program.
All you have to do is select multiple cells and click the plus icon in the top middle of the toolbar. The icon has two arrows pointing together and is gray unless you have selected multiple cells.
One of the biggest fears about switching to cloud-based applications is the thought of losing your internet connection. Fortunately, Google Sheets makes it easy to access and edit your spreadsheets even when you’re temporarily offline.
It only works in Chrome browser and you need to sync your Google account in Chrome. To do this, click the people icon at the top right, then enter Chrome
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Once signed in, go to the Google Sheets website. Click the menu icon at the top left, then click Settings. In the middle of the window, you will see the Offline version. Flip it over and you’re good to go! Here are those steps again in a nutshell:
Formulas and functions are a very powerful part of any spreadsheet software and they support both Google Sheets. But before we do anything further, let’s talk about the difference between a formula and a function.
The formula does simple math
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