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How figure 3-15

As shown in the examples,

a relative reference within

a formula can change

when you change the

sequence of a worksheet’s

rows and columns. An

absolute reference is

anchored so that it always

refers to a specific cell.

􀁘 For some dynamic

examples of absolute and

relative references, watch

the tour for this figure in

your digital textbook.

} Two blank rows

When row 3 is deleted, the Income and Expenses

values move up one row, which means these values

have new cell references. The formula changes to

=B3-B4 to reflect the new cell references.

The original formula =B4-B5

uses relative references.

How will I know which formulas and functions to use when

I create a worksheet? To create an effective and accurate worksheet,

you typically must understand the calculations and formulas that are

involved. If, for example, you want to create a worksheet that helps you calculate

your final grade in a course, you need to know the grading scale and

understand how your instructor plans to weight each assignment and test.

Most spreadsheet software includes a few templates or wizards for predesigned

worksheets, such as invoices, income-expense reports, balance

sheets, and loan payment schedules. Additional templates are available on

the Web. These templates are typically designed by professionals and contain

all the necessary labels and formulas. To use a template, you simply

plug in the values for your calculation.

NUMBER CRUNCHING” SOFTWARE

Aside from spreadsheets, what other “number crunching”

software is available? Spreadsheet software provides a sort of blank

canvas on which you can create numeric models by simply painting values,

labels, and formulas. The advantage of spreadsheet software is the

flexibility it provides—flexibility to create customized calculations according

to your exact specifications. The disadvantage of spreadsheet software

is that—aside from a few predesigned templates—you are responsible for

entering formulas and selecting functions for calculations. If you don’t know

the formulas or don’t understand the functions, you’re out of luck.

In contrast to the blank canvas approach provided by spreadsheet software,

other number crunching software works more like paint by numbers.

It provides a structured environment dedicated to a particular number

crunching task, such as statistical analysis, mathematical modeling, or

money management.

Statistical software helps you analyze large sets of data to discover relationships

and patterns. Products such as SPSS Inc. PASW Statistics and

StatSoft STATISTICA are helpful tools for summarizing survey results, test

scores, experiment results, or population data. Most statistical software

includes graphing capability so that you can display and explore your data

visually.

Mathematical modeling software provides tools for solving a wide range

of math, science, and engineering problems. Students, teachers, mathematicians,

and engineers, in particular, appreciate how products such as

Mathcad and Mathematica help them recognize patterns that can be difficult

to identify in columns of numbers (Figure 3-16).

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