The World of spreadsheets and simple graphing

From Help Wiki


  • As explained by Wikipedia
  • Best application for data gathering/collection
  • Easiest entry into "application development" --you don't even have to be a developer/programmer

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Good

  • Spreadsheets is a low entry point for an application framework, in the same way that WordPress is a website framework
    • You don't have to be a developer/programmer

The Bad

  • Spreadsheets are used to make applications
    • You don't have to be a developer/programmer
    • Complex spreadsheets suffer from errors; become difficult to troubleshoot

The Ugly

The World of Spreadsheets

  • Gnumeric most powerful spreadsheet program
    • Single editor environment
    • Size Limit: Max rows: 16,777,216; Max Columns: 16,384; Max Cells: 274,877,906,944
    • Project doesn't provide Windows binaries; lag for latest version to be ported to Windows or Macintosh
  • Libre Calc
    • Single editor environment
    • Size Limit: each sheet can have a maximum of 1,048,576 rows and a maximum of 1024 columns.
      • Each document has a size limit of 4 GB
  • Google Sheets
  • Microsoft Excel
    • Single editor environment
    • x32 bit vs. x64 bit
    • Size Limit: 1,048,576 rows by 16,384 columns
      • x32 bit: Each document limited to 2GB
      • x64 bit: Each document limited by system physical memory
  • Microsoft Excel Online in Office 365
    • Multi-editor environment --Maximum of 5 concurrent editors
    • Size Limit: 250 MB

Tidy Data

Tidy Data by Hadley Wickham

  1. Each variable forms a column,
  2. Each observation forms a row,
  3. Each table (or file) stores data about one class of experimental unit.


  • relative vs. absolute cell reference
  • dragging cells to auto-fill

Tips & Tricks

Keyboard shortcuts (Navigation)


  • With complex formulas, work backwards, or right to left:

Graphing (Charts)

The Top Ten Worst Graphs

Learning from others mistakes
The Top Ten Worst Graphs

Anatomy of a Graph/Chart

  • Graph/Chart type
    • Column
    • Bar
    • Pie
    • Area
    • Line
    • XY Scatter
    • Bubble
    • Net
    • Boxplot
    • Mixed
  • Chart/Graph Title
    • Chart/Graph Subtitle
  • Chart/Graph X-Axis Label
  • Chart/Graph Y-Axis Label
  • Chart/Graph Legend

Tips & Tricks

  • To print individual charts, select the chart, then press CTRL + P, this bring up print properties just for the selected chart.

Data Manipulation

  • Swap X Y or switch row/column
    • "Select Data..." from Chart filter


Visualization Data



Shout out to DuckDuckGo search engine for bursting my filter bubble Logo ddg community.png