Data Entry Basics for the Numbers App for iPad - dummies

Data Entry Basics for the Numbers App for iPad

You tap or double-tap a cell to work with it in iWork’s Numbers for iPad. If you want to add or edit data, double-tap the cell. A blue outline appears around the cell, and the keyboard appears so that you can enter data.

Single tap if you want to select a cell but not edit its contents. The cell is outlined, and the table-selection elements (the column and row frames, the Cells button, the round button to the left of the column frame, and the button to the right of the column frame as well as beneath the row frame) are shown.

Once you’ve set up your spreadsheet, most of your work consists of entering and editing data of all types.


The keyboard for entering data into a Numbers cell is a powerful and flexible tool — it’s actually four keyboards in one. Above the keyboard is a formula bar that lets you quickly and easily enter formulas. At the left of the formula bar are four buttons that let you switch from one keyboard to another. Starting from the left, you can choose the following keyboards:

  • 42: The first button, labeled 42, lets you use the numeric keyboard.

  • Clock: The second button, with the image of a clock, lets you enter dates and times.

  • Text: The letter T displays a standard text keyboard.

  • Formulas: The = sign brings up the formula editing keyboard.

Whichever keyboard you’re using, you see what you’re typing in the formula bar above the keyboard. To the right of the oblong area is a button labeled Done (or OK, depending on which keyboard you’re using) that moves your typing into the selected cell and then hides the keyboard.

You can bring up a keyboard only when you double-tap a cell or other text field (such as a tab name). That means it’s selected, and it also means that the keyboard always knows where the data should go when you tap OK or Done.

To the right of the keyboard area are three large buttons:

  • Delete: This is the standard keyboard delete button.

  • Next (adjacent): The Next button with the right-pointing arrow inserts the typed data into the selected cell and moves to the next cell to the right.

  • Next (next line): The Next button with the hooked arrow pointing left inserts the typed data and moves to the next line and to the left-most cell in the section of cells you are entering.

Note that the two Next buttons are not available on the text keyboard.