3 Cool Tips That Make Numbers for Mac Easier To Use

Alvaro Bernedo

Numbers Tips

With every version of iWork apps for Mac, Apple brings new features and ways to make its applications easier to use. With the latest update to this suit of productivity apps, this is especially noticeable in Numbers, Apple’s own spreadsheet application.

That’s why in this entry, we take a look at three cool tips that most Numbers users don’t know about and that can make using this great spreadsheet app even easier.

Let’s get started.

1. Drag and Drop Calculations

One of the coolest, simplest features of Numbers is the Summary Pane. This shows at the bottom of the currently open Numbers window whenever you select two or more cells and it displays basic calculations based on your selection.

Numbers Summary Pane

Now, what few Numbers users know, is that you can actually use those calculations by just dragging them into your table.

For example, in the image shown below, I selected the cells B2:B6. Then, from the Summary Pane at the bottom I just chose the operation that I want to use (SUM in this case) and drag its ‘bubble’ to the cell I want.

Numbers Summary Pane Bubble Drag

2. New Headers and Table Styles With One Click

Personally, two of the options that I use the most when working with spreadsheets is creating new tables and customizing them. Thankfully, these two options are really easy to use in the new version of Numbers.

To create a new table for example, all you have to do is click on the Table button at the top of the window and Numbers will provide you with several nice options for your new table.

Numbers New Tables

Customizing your new (or existing) table with headers, footers and sidebars is more interesting though. To do it, select the table you want to change and open the formatting panel by clicking on the Format button at the top right of the window. There, click on the Table tab and look under Headers & Footers.

Numbers Table Before Sidebar

There, you have drop-down menus for the sidebar, header and footer respectively. You just have to click on any of them and select the number of rows/columns that you want to apply a header, footer or sidebar effect on.

Numbers Table Sidebar Select

The end result would be something like the image below.

Numbers Table After Sidebar

3. Options In Formulas

As with Excel or any other spreadsheet application, once you use an operation in a formula you can always double click on the final value to expose all the components of such formula and edit it.

Screen Shot 2014 04 29 at 11 06 41 PM

In Numbers though, you can also click on the down-facing arrow next to a formula to reveal some very useful options for the cell that contains the results. With them, you can choose to preserve either the row or the column of that cell’s formula if you decide to move it or copy and paste it somewhere else.

Numbers Formula Options

That’s about it. And if you use spreadsheets and have never tried Numbers before on your Mac, check out this tutorial on how to get started.

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Alvaro Bernedo

Written By

Alvaro Bernedo

Contributor at Guiding Tech