Basics of Google Sheets – Cole

sheetsGoogle sheets is an exciting online spreadsheet application used for storing, managing, and updating data. If you find yourself needing to store large (or small) amounts of data, google sheets is a fantastic tool to do so.

  1. To get to Google Sheets, type ‘‘ in the URL bar of your browser. Then, click ‘blank’ to create a new spreadsheet.


2. Now that we have a blank canvas, let’s enter some example data. To enter data, simply left-click on whatever cell you’d like and enter your data. You can also choose which cell is active by using the arrow keys on your keyboard.

Note: It will be beneficial to you in the future to become familiar with the numbers on the left side of the spreadsheet and the capital letters on the top of the spreadsheet. Their purpose is to provide a name for each and every cell. That serves us no purpose for this tutorial, but will become essential later. Any who, in the video below the data “Students”is entered in cell “A1” first. Then, “Favorite Animals” is entered in cell “B1” and so on. 

Another note: If you make a mistake, you can ‘undo’ with the keyboard shortcut:

ctrl + z


3. To merge cells, select the cells you with to merge together by holding down the shift key on your keyboard and clicking them. Then, press “Merge cells”. You can merge cells horizontally or vertically. 

Note: You can move multiple cells at once by holding down the left mouse button and hovering over the range of cells you wish to select move. Once you have your range selected, move your cursor to any edge of your selection. Your cursor will change shape into what looks like a white glove. You can then hold down the left mouse button and move your selected range anywhere within your sheet. 


4. Changing the Fill color of a cell is simple. Select which cell(s) you would like to change the fill color of, click “Fill color” and select which color you would like.


5. Conditional Formatting is used to change the format of a cell based upon a condition you create.

  • First, select which cell(s) you would like to make a new rule for.
  • Right click and select conditional formatting.
  • Click on the list box underneath “Format cells if” and choose your condition. Below, you can choose the cell(s) appearance if it’s value meets your condition.

You can add as many rules/conditions with any combination of cells you would like. In this example, I have added two rules to my selected cells.


6. As you can see, the formatting of each cell changes based upon the rules you specify.


7. I hope this post was helpful in introducing the basic functions of google sheets! Have a good day and remember… while it isn’t necessary to smile at lunch ladies, it is a nice gesture.





Cole Davis (@Cole_Davis64) is a student at Ash Grove High who attends classes at OTC for Computer Information Science. He dabbles in 3D animation in his spare time, and likes to help people make the most out of their computers. It’s not uncommon to find him browsing spicy memes, or making some internet.


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