Data Entry With Numbers

Education is not limited to just classrooms. It can be gained anytime, anywhere... - Ravi Ranjan (M.Tech-NIT)

Fundamentals of Numeric Data Entry


Besides the strings as we have seen in the previous lesson, a cell can also use a numeric value. Microsoft Excel supports different types of numbers, including integers, decimal values, and currencies, positives and negatives.

All the techniques we have studied for copying, cutting, or moving cells are also available for cells that contain numbers.

To enter a number into a cell, you can click that cell and type the number. To specify the sign of a number, the English language uses the + and the - symbols. If you simply type a number without a sign, the number is referred to as unsigned. The number is considered positive, which means it is equal to or greater than 0. An alternative is to add a sign to the number. Such a number becomes considered "signed"

A number is referred to as negative if it is less than 0. Microsoft Excel provides various ways of giving this information. To enter a negative value in a cell:

  • Type - followed by the number
  • Enter the number in (between an opening and a closing) parentheses

A Numeric Value as Text

When you enter a number in a cell, Microsoft Excel automatically recognizes it as such and aligns it to the right side of the cell. Sometimes, you will want Microsoft Excel to treat the content of a cell as text and not as a normal numeric value.

To treat a number as text:

  • If you are entering the number, start it with ' and follow it by the value
  • If the number exists already:
    • Click the cell to make it active. On the Ribbon, click Home. In the Number section, click the arrow of the combo box and select Text
    • Right-click the cell and click Format Cells... In the Format property page of the Format Cells dialog box, in the Category list, click Text and click OK

Practical Learning: Entering a Numeric Value as Text

  1. Open the Grier Summer Camp3.xlsx workbook and click the Employment Application1 if necessary to activate it
  2. Click Cell B32 and type '1.
  3. Press Enter
  4. Click Cell B38, type '2. and press Enter
  5. Click Cell B44, type '3. and press Enter