by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 21, 2013)
Google Sheets allows you to easily create almost any number of spreadsheets you desire. You can have one for your budget figures, another for sales projections, another for time tracking, and any number of other purposes you can think of. The possibilities are virtually limitless, but those possibilities all start with a common task: Creating your spreadsheet. Here are the simple steps to get started:
That's it; you can start entering information right away. If you've used other spreadsheet programs (such as Microsoft Excel) the interface should look immediately comfortable. Don't be afraid to start poking around and trying things out. But be aware that there are differences, as well.
One immediate difference you may notice is that there is no save button, tool, or command in Sheets. That is because the program automatically and continuously saves your information as you enter it. This makes it almost impossible to lose your work, which is a huge benefit. You can be sure that changes are saved because Sheets informs you of this fact just to the right of the menus. (See Figure 1.)
Figure 1. Sheets shows you that it has saved your changes.
When you first create a spreadsheet, Sheets doesn't give it a name. Well, technically it does, but the name is rather generic (Untitled Spreadsheet) and you will probably want to change it to something more descriptive. To do this, just click the current name, shown at the upper-left of the screen, and Sheets presents a dialog box where you can enter a new name. (See Figure 2.)
Figure 2. Changing a spreadsheet's name.
Replace the default name with the name you desire and then click OK. Sheets immediately changes the spreadsheet's name and saves the information. You can now continue developing your spreadsheet as you desire.
When you are done working with the spreadsheet, you can close the browser window or the Google Drive app. When you later log into Google Drive, you'll find the spreadsheet—with the name you gave it—in the list of files maintained within drive. You can click on it to open it and resume working.
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