Spreadsheet Tutorials

Modern spreadsheet programs offer a wealth of functions, features, and resources for the professional and the novice. While it can all seem overwhelming to the beginner the principles are not difficult to understand and of course the programs themselves are easy to use. In fact, most people who already have some experience with computers would be able to teach themselves the basics of spreadsheet programming and will be able to start doing simple calculations within a few minutes, and fairly complicated projects within a few hours. These tutorials should help speed this process and will also show you some useful things that will make a new spreadsheet user's life easier. Like solo self-teaching, it is still a fun process that combines explorations and demonstrations and when done leaves one with useful skills and ready to tackle the more challenging applications in Spreadsheet Applications for Materials Science.

These tutorials are separated into two general categories, one focusing on using spreadsheets to perform basic tasks such as:

  • General layout of a spreadsheet's screen
  • Working with notebooks, sheets, and cells
  • Entering formulas and using functions
  • Creating charts
  • Analysis tools
  • Writing and running macros.

Also, while Microsoft's Excel is pretty much the de facto spreadsheet, people do actually use other programs, so the above tutorials are available for the following:

Spreadsheets
From top to bottom, Corel's Quattro Pro, Sun's OpenOffice Calc, Microsoft's Excel (Click to see full size.)

The other category focuses more on how to use spreadsheets to do the types of exercises presented in the SAMS modules. This includes:

  • Laying out your spreadsheet
  • Structuring your spreadsheets (avoid writing spaghetti code)
  • Writing spreadsheets that can be easily read and understood by another person
  • Doing calculations using tables
  • Using advanced numeric tools
  • Validating and debugging your spreadsheet