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How to Customize Check Boxes in iPad Numbers App

The Numbers app in iPad makes it easy to use check boxes, which are very useful. A check box can indicate, for example, that an item is in stock or out of stock (yes/no or true/false). However, you can also use it to represent numeric data.

Computers and programs often represent non-zero and zero values as yes/no or true/false values. That’s one way you can use check boxes to track inventory. If you show the number of in-stock items in a cell, you can use a check box to indicate that none is in stock (a deselected check box) or that items are in stock (a selected check box). Numbers handles the conversion for you.

Here’s how check box customization can work:

1

Double-tap a cell to start editing it; tap 42 and then tap the Checkbox button when the keyboard opens.

You see a check box in the selected cell; in the area above the keyboard, you see the word false, as shown in the figure. The green outline distinguishes the word false from text you type in. It has the value false because, before you type anything, its numeric value is zero.

2

Type a nonzero value.

This value can represent the number of items in stock, for example.

3

Tap the Checkbox button again.

You see that the value you typed changes to true (see the figure) and that the check box is selected in the table.

Because the formatting is separate from the data value, you can sometimes display the in-stock inventory count as a number and sometimes as the check box. Customers are likely to care only about the check box, but the inventory manager cares about the number.

Everything in Numbers is linked, so you don’t have to worry about a sequence for doing most things. If you’ve followed these steps, you’ve seen how to enter a number and have it control a check box, but that’s only one of at least three ways of working with a check box.

With a cell selected and the Checkbox formatting button selected, you see the true/false value above the keyboard and the check box itself in the table cell. Tap the check box in the table cell: The true/false value is reversed, as is the state of the check box itself.

Likewise, if you tap the word true or false in the display above the keyboard, the check box flips its value and true/false reverses.

When you tap a formatting button, it turns blue and formats the number in the selected cell (or cells). You can tap another formatting button to switch to another format (from stars to a percentage, for example). Tapping a highlighted formatting button turns it off without selecting another.

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