How to Insert Information in an Excel Spreadsheet

by Norm Dickinson

Microsoft Excel 2010 offers a variety of ways to insert data into a blank or existing spreadsheet by manual entry, copy and paste or linking. Data can also be imported from a number of compatible file sources and calculations can be performed on existing information to create new numbers based on the data that is already entered, imported or linked. Learn a few of the more common techniques for getting information into an Excel spreadsheet with a simplified step-by-step tutorial.

Direct Data Entry


Launch Microsoft Excel 2010.


Click in one of the cells of the spreadsheet and type a number or word, and then press "Enter."


Type another number or word and press "Enter" again to continue to fill in the current column. Alternately move to a different cell by clicking the mouse on that cell or by using the "Tab" key or one of the arrows on the keyboard to navigate to a different cell.

Link to Existing Data


Launch Microsoft Excel 2010. Open the spreadsheet that contains the cells where data from other spreadsheets will be displayed.


Open the Excel spreadsheet that contains data that will be used in a new spreadsheet.


Switch back to the spreadsheet that will display the data and click on the cell that will display the data. Press the "Equal" sign ("=") on the keyboard. Switch to the spreadsheet that contains the data and click once on the cell that contains the data and press "Enter." Notice that the display spreadsheet now displays the data from the other spreadsheet.

Import Data


Launch Microsoft Excel and open the spreadsheet that will contain the imported data.


Click on the cell where the imported data will be displayed.


Click the "Data" tab on the toolbar and click the appropriate button in the "Get External Data" group to launch the "Open File" or "Data Connection" dialog.


Locate the source data file or location and click "OK" to connect to the new data source. Specify additional options depending upon the type of connection made and the amount of data being used.


  • check Information can be copied to the Windows clipboard from nearly any application and pasted directly into Excel.


  • close Linked spreadsheets must remain in the same location and have the same name they had when the link was created to maintain the link.

About the Author

Norm Dickinson began his writing career in 1997 as a content creator for Web pages he designed for clients. His work appears on various websites, focusing on computer technology. Dickinson holds an Associate of Arts in industrial electronics technology and another Associate of Arts in computer science.

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