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Google Sheets for Dummies

Aug 09, 2022

Are you new to Google Sheets? Don't worry. This Google Sheets spreadsheet tutorial will change you from a Google Sheets dummy into a Google Sheets expert!

Okay, maybe you are not a Google Sheets expert, by you will certainly become more competent when using Google Sheets.

Once you understand what is capable, Google Sheets is an extremely powerful tool that you can use for financial modelling, digital marketing, data formatting, project management, and many other things.

If you are new to Google Sheets, it is essential that you take the time to follow the steps in this Google Sheets tutorial so that you can become more efficient on Google Sheets.

How to use Google Sheets

What is Google Sheets?

Google Sheets is free to use, cloud-based spreadsheet product which is a direct competitor to Microsoft Excel. You can open Google Sheets in your browser window like you would with a normal webpage. However, in Google sheets, you have all the functionality you would get from Microsoft Excel while also allowing others to access the Google Sheet from their web browser.

How is it different from Excel?

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will have heard of Microsoft Excel, as it has been the household name for spreadsheets for many years.

Google Sheets is extremely similar to Microsoft Excel, but it also has a few different aspects as well. It has the same set of tools and functions to use to analyze data, but here are a few of the benefits of using Google Sheets:

  1. Google Sheets is a cloud-based system, unlike Excel, which is a desktop program. With Google Sheets, you won't get stuck with lots of versions of your work saved on different devices and in different folders. Instead, everyone sees the most up-to-date version of Google Sheets spreadsheets.

  2. Collaboration is one of the main benefits of Google Sheets, so it is perfect for working together on documents remotely. As Google Sheets is web-based, any changes someone makes occur live, and other people can see them on their computer in real-time.

  3. As Google Sheets is a cloud-based program, it integrates excellently with other Google services like Google Slides and Google Docs.

Why use Google Sheets?

Google Sheets offer users many different benefits! Here are some of the main benefits of using Google Sheets:

  • It's free to use.

  • It's perfect for collaboration, as more than one person can work on the same sheet at the same time.

  • It has plenty of features for advanced users

  • It is quick and easy to use for new users as well!

Can Google Sheets still do advanced stuff?

Of course! In Google Sheets, you can write complex formulas, build dashboards, and implement data formatting, all in the same document. Your imagination is the limit when it comes to playing with raw data in a Google Sheets spreadsheet.

How to create your first Google Sheet

If this is the first time that you have used Google Sheets, the first thing you need to do is head to the Google Sheets homepage. From here, you can create your first blank spreadsheet or utilize the Google templates gallery.

When you get to that page, select the Go to Google Sheets button, and then log into your Google account.

Once you have logged in, select the large green plus button to open a new Google Sheet.

Opening your first Google Sheet from Drive

You can build a new Google Sheets for your Google Drive folder by selecting the blue NEW button.

Once you build a new Google Sheet, it'll get created in your Google Drive folder.

From here, you can drag it into a different folder to stay organized.

The Google Sheet editing window

From your blank Google Sheet, you can rename the Sheet from the top left-hand corner. Select where it says Untitled Spreadsheet, and type whatever you want your Google Sheet to be called.

In the main window of your spreadsheet, there is a grid of cells, split into columns and rows. Each cell can hold a single piece of data.

The columns are vertical ranges of cells, and you can see they are labeled by letters.

The rows are horizontal ranges of cells, and you can see they are labeled by numbers.

Entering, selecting, deleting, and moving data

Now that we understand what your Google Sheet looks like let's start trying to add content! Select cell A1, and you will notice that the cell gets highlighted. From there, you can begin typing, and you will notice that data starts entering the cell.

Press the enter button once you are done, and you will notice that the spreadsheet is now highlighting the A2 cell directly below the A1 cell. If you press the Tab key rather than the Enter key, you will see that the highlighted box moves to cell B1 instead.

If you want to delete the data we have just input into these cells, select the cell that contains the information you want to delete, and press the delete key.

What to do if you Make a Mistake

Firstly, if you do make a mistake, don't worry. When you use Google Sheets, even a new spreadsheet in Google Sheets, all of the changes you make will get saved automatically.

If you want to go back a step and alter an action you have made to manipulate data, merge cells, or something similar, you can easily do so by pressing CTRL + Z or CMD + Z if you are on a Mac.

Keep pressing this shortcut key until you have removed all of the changes you want to get rid of. If you would rather not use the shortcut, you can press the undo arrow from the menu.

Google Sheets for Dummies: Summary and Key Takeaways

Now you have some of the basics that you can do in Google Sheets so that you can take your skillset to the next level. While it is certainly beneficial to have the knowledge highlighted in this article under your belt, there is so much more for you to learn.

Once you are comfortable with the basics that we have highlighted here, be sure to check out the other advice provided on the Simple Sheets blog!

Frequently Asked Questions about Google Sheets Spreadsheets

How do I create a new Google Sheets file?

  • Launch Google Sheets.

  • Sign into your Google Drive account.

  • View your sheets in your main directory.

  • Create a new spreadsheet by tapping the plus sign.

How do I format data in Google Sheets?

Open an existing spreadsheet in Google Sheet. Select one cell, and drag your mouse over nearby cells you want to format. From there, use the toolbar at the top to format. Many options will appear in the drop-down menu for you to choose from. This tactic also works in Google Sheets offline mode, and your input data will be saved automatically when you are back online.

How do I get a new blank spreadsheet in Google Sheets?

Head to the Google Sheets page, and place your mouse cursor over the multi-colored + icon, similar to how it shows in Google Docs. When you hover over it, the + will turn into a green pencil icon.

Click on it, and your new Google spreadsheet will launch. From there, Google Drive automatically saves any work you do.

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