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    Re: Navigation spreadsheet lessons
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2009 Jan 13, 20:28 -0800

    A few spreadsheet tricks.
    
    Let's do some very basic statistics on a block of numbers. I'm going to 
    continue working in the same spreadsheet, but you could open a fresh one.
    
    Let's go to cell H2. At this point, you might be wondering how far to the 
    right you can go in columns and how far down in rows. For most spreadsheet 
    software these days, there's a more-or-less endless supply of rows and 
    columns, but because the Google Docs spreadsheet app works online, there are 
    fewer displayed by default. You can add more easily using the "Insert" menu. 
    And specific to the Google spreadsheet, there is a little "+" sign at the 
    lower left of the spreadsheet that lets you add rows in bulk. Also note that 
    you can insert columns or rows *between* previously entered columns or rows 
    of data and formulas without losing the relationships. The spreadsheet 
    automatically adjusts.
    
    In cell H2, enter some number off the top of your head. I'll enter 34.5. Now 
    use the arrow keys to go down one cell at a time and enter in some more 
    numbers off the top of your head in cells H3 through H7 (these aren't really 
    "random" numbers, which the spreadsheet can actually create for you, but 
    that's the idea --some numbers picked at random). Now go the next column to 
    the right and do the same thing in cells I2 through I7. You now have twelve 
    numbers in a little table. What is the average of those numbers? Spreadsheets 
    were built for this sort of thing. Go to the top of the table and in cell H1, 
    enter the formula =AVERAGE(  ...but don't type anything after the open 
    parenthesis. Instead hit the down arrow key on your keyboard. The spreadsheet 
    automatically fills in H2. Next hold down the shift key and, again using the 
    keyboard arrow keys, mark out (select) all of the cells containing the 
    numbers you entered. Then hit the 'enter' key. Now look at the formula that 
    the spreadsheet created here (remember: if you want the formula bar, select 
    it from the "View" menu). The formula says =AVERAGE(H2:I7). This notation is 
    more of that "spreadsheet-eze". Two cell designations with a colon between 
    them means that we want to do something with *all* of the cells in the block 
    that has those corners. And sure enough, the average that you see calculated 
    there is correct for that whole block of numbers.
    
    You can try doing other statistics on that block of numbers. For example, go 
    to cell I2 and enter the formula =STDEV( and then mark out the same block of 
    cells, or type the range in yourself, to complete the formula as 
    =STDEV(H2:I17). This gives you the sample standard deviation of those 
    numbers.
    
    I have a small project I need to complete tonight, so that's all for now. 
    Tomorrow, we'll create a dip table, do some absolute cell references, maybe 
    some formatting, and a more complicated navigational equation.
    
    -FER
    PS: In your last message you wrote:
    "Thank you, thank you for this tour."
    Sure thing. I'm enjoying it.
    And:
    "The google.com site said my Safari wasn't included."
    That's odd. It works on my Mac. I bet your copy of Safari is older. Have you 
    let your Mac do its auto-update thing recently? 
    
    
    
    
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