A spread sheet is a useful software application for a personal computer. Spread sheets came from homework assigned in Harvard Business School. There was such a need for this kind of a program that a student wrote the first spread sheet software to help do homework. The uses of spread sheets are extensive, and they are one of the five most used software packages available. In Windows one can easily copy a spread sheet or its graphs into a word processing document.
The beauty of spreadsheets is the ability to HANDLE and CHANGE DATA easily. It is like a word processor for numbers! Each location in the spreadsheet is called a CELL. You can think of them as mail boxes. Each location is a storage place for a data entry which you locate by row number and column letter. A3 is column A one row 3. [Remember columns are vertical; rows are horizontal.] C6 is column 3 row 6. The cells act like a VARIABLE in a programming language. (Spreadsheets represent 2-dimensional arrays, and using them is an easy way tolearn matrix [array] concepts.)
CELLS can hold a LABEL (text preceded by a ' or a space) or a VALUE or a FORMULA (math operation) which will compute its value based on the contents of other cells. All formulas start with either a "+" or an "@ " . When you have what you desire typed in a cell, press either <arrow > key or [Enter] to set it into the cell.
Quattro Pro supports many separate spread sheets saved under one name. These sheets are the tabs at bottom of the screen
Quattro Pro is a "good neighbor" in the Windows operating system, so it runs the standard Window's conventions and buttons. Check out the button or tool bar at the right and see that many of the buttons are familiar to you already: [You can change the buttons that you view in Quattro Pro. To change the button that are visible, click on View ... Toolbars. Now check and uncheck button selections that you would like.]
To Select a cell just click on it. To select a range of cells, click on the top left one, hold the left mouse button and drag the mouse to the bottom right cell. This rectangular range of cells will be highlighted and selected.
To move a cell or range of cells, select them, then put the mouse inside the selected range near one of the borders. When the curser is near an outside border of a selected range, it turns into a four sided arrow. Now you are ready to move/copy the range, so drag and drop the cells to a new location.
Copying cells means selecting them, clicking on the Copy button, clicking on the top left cell in the destination range, and clicking on the Paste button. Or one can select the range of cells, hold the [ctrl] button, and drag as copy of the cells to a new location. Be careful of leading spaces before a number. A leading space identifies the cell as a label, not a number. The result: _2 + 3 = 3.
To make a graph, click on Insert and see the pull down menu. If you want to make a new graph, it is best to select the data you want on the Y axis before you click on Insert. Then click on Chart. This calls the graph a new name like "graph2" and has the data that you selected in the Chart Data row. Click on [Next], and you can select the general type of graph you want (i.e. bar, pie, or line). Click on [Next] again, and you can choose the specific type of graph that you want (i.e. regular or 3-D). Click on [Next], and you can choose a color scheme for your graph. These make a graph look very nice, but will not print very well unless you use a color printer.
To put titles on your graph: click on [Next] one more time, and you can title the different axes and the main graph. At this page, you can also pick the destination of your graph. If you choose current sheet, you will be able to view your graph on the same page as your spreadsheet. To insert the graph, click on the top left of the insertion point hole down the left button and drag to the bottom left corner of the insertion rectangle. Don't worry, once the graph is inserted it is easy to move or change in size. Click on the graph and see the 8 box handles and move it around. If you choose chart window, your chart will be shown on a separate page. At this point, click on [Finish] and you will see your graph. (Remember, you can use the [Back] button at any point to change your previous choices.
At this point, your chart will graph the numbers in the Y axis, but not against the labels you want on the X-axis. To add these labels, use the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON to click on the X-axis, and then click on "Series.." with either the RIGHT or the LEFT MOUSE BUTTON. You will see a box entitled "Chart Series." Click on the arrow button by "X-Axis" and you can choose the information that goes on that axis from the spreadsheet. [Because a graph can show up to 6 different Y lines or bars, the Y data is stored in series 1 up to 6.] Click on Ok and you will see your finished graph.
To change the graph type, use the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON to click on the graph and see this menu:
Now you can change the Type, Series (the data being plotted) or Titles. Click with the left mouse button to change one of these aspects of the graph.
Once a graph has been established, you may edit it. Double click on a graph in a spread sheet or click on View and then Objects. From this page, you can select which graph you would like to edit. Now you can click on the parts of the graph you want to change or edit using the right mouse button. A new menu will appear and you can select the item you want to edit. If you are editing a graph from the objects page and want to get back to your spreadsheet, minimize the graph and then click on View and then Draft.
To Format numbers so that for example 25 looks like 25.00 i.e. like money, use the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON and click on the cell of interest and select "Cell Properties" when you see a drop down menu appear. Click on the numeric format tab near the top of the dialogue box. Click on fixed, then on 2 [for two decimal places]. Now you should see 25.00.
To change a column width, put the curser on the top of the columns, see the curser change to a vertical line with an arrow on each side. Now click and drag the width so that all the numbers fit in the column. If a number is too big for a column, you will see a row of *****'s. This is not acceptable; widen the column.
Remember a spread sheet is like a set of mail boxes with letters to designate the columns and numbers to tell which row. There are three kinds of things that you can put into a cell. A formula is preceded by the @. Formulas are like @SUM(B3..B9) which adds up all the numbers in these selected cells. When you copy a cell or group of cells and paste it, the referenced cells change to have the same relative location to the new location. If the formula above was in cell B10 and it was copied to cell D13 the formula would be @SUM(D6..D12). To keep the computer from changing an address you must use a $ before the row and column. So copying the formula +D4-$D$5, would only change the D4 cell but not the $D$5.
Quattro Pro will allow you to change almost all parts of a graph as well as add text anywhere on the graph. The procedure is to select the graph then to click on the part you want to change, then to click in the same area with the right mouse button to obtain a new dialogue box with special choices. See example at right. To add text anywhere click on the A icon near the top of the screen, now use the mouse to show where you want the text, click there or click and drag to show how big you want the text box to be. Now type your text.
Use the left mouse button to click on one of these choices; I chose the Series and obtained a new dialogue box so I can edit the data/labels to be used in the graph. Use the same procedure to change other things in the graph.
Note the print icon in the tool bar. A click here prints out the spreadsheet if the graph is not selected. If you are editing a graph, then the graph will print out. It is good to preview the spread sheet printout - in this preview, you can see if the spreadsheet will fit on one page or more and you can adjust the margins. Click on File and on Print Preview. Now you see to a new view screen with the following tool bar.
To change the margins, click on the margin button in the print preview screen. Then go to one of the dotted margins shown, and click and drag until the margin is where you want it. The minimum is 1/4 inch.
To get out of the Print Preview, click on the last icon on the menu bar (the printer with the "X" over it).
This page is Copyright 1998 by J. Barry DeRoos. All Rights Reserved.
This page may be distributed and used freely, provided that the copyright notices remain intact.
Last Modified: Oct 23, 1998.