How to Create, Open, and Save Numbers Documents on Your MacBook

By Mark L. Chambers

Numbers ships with a selection of templates on your MacBook that you can modify quickly to create, open and save a new spreadsheet. (For example, after a few modifications, you can easily use the Budget, Loan Comparison, and Mortgage templates to create your own spreadsheets.)

How to create a new Numbers document

To create a spreadsheet project file, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Launchpad icon in the Dock.

  2. Click the Numbers icon.

    Numbers displays the Template Chooser window.

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  3. Click the type of document you want to create in the list to the left.

    The document thumbnails on the right are updated with templates that match your choice.

  4. Click the template that most closely matches your needs.

  5. Click Choose to open a new document using the template you selected.

How to open an existing spreadsheet file on MacBook

If a Numbers document appears in a Finder window (or you use Spotlight to search for it or it’s included in the All my Files location), you can just double-click the Document icon to open it; Numbers automatically loads and displays the spreadsheet. However, it’s equally easy to open a Numbers document from within the program. Follow these steps:

  1. From Launchpad, click the Numbers icon to run the program.

  2. Press cmd+O to display the Open dialog.

  3. Click the desired drive in the Devices list at the left of the dialog and then click folders and subfolders to drill down until you’ve located the desired Numbers document.

    If you’re unsure of where the document is, click the Search box at the top-right corner of the Open dialog and type a portion of the document name or even a word or two of text it contains (using the pop-up menu that appears).

  4. Double-click the spreadsheet to load it.

If you want to open a spreadsheet you’ve been working on over the last few days, choose File →Open Recent to display Numbers documents that you’ve worked with recently.

The Template Chooser window also sports both an Open Recent button and an Open Existing File button. Convenience is A Good Thing!

Save Those MacBook Spreadsheets!

With the Auto Save feature built into Mountain Lion, you’re no longer required to save on a regular basis — however, if you a fan of not retyping any data at all, save your spreadsheets often (just in case of a power failure or a coworker’s mistake). Follow these steps the first time you save your spreadsheet to your hard drive:

  1. Press cmd+S.

    If you’re saving a document that hasn’t yet been saved, the Save As sheet appears.

  2. Type a filename for your new spreadsheet.

  3. Click the Where pop-up menu and choose a location to save the file.

    To save your document directly to Apple’s iCloud, choose iCloud as your destination — you can open your iCloud documents from another Mac or from any iOS device running iWork for iOS 1.61 or later. (Naturally, you’ll need to enter the same Apple ID on any device before using it to access the documents stored in your iCloud space.)

    If you choose a location other than iCloud, you can click a common location, such as your desktop, Documents folder, or Home folder.

    If the location you want isn’t listed in the Where pop-up menu, you can also click the down-arrow button next to the Save As text box to display the full Save As dialog. Click the desired drive in the Devices list and then click folders and subfolders to drill down until you reach the desired location. You can also create a new folder in the full Save As dialog.

  4. Click Save.

After you save a Numbers document for the first time, you can create a version of that document by choosing File→Save a Version. To revert the current document to an older version, choose File→Revert Document. You can choose to revert to the last saved version, or you can click Older Version to browse multiple versions of the document and choose one of those to revert to.