There are several ways to add data into a spreadsheet. The simplest data entry technique involves typing the data into a spreadsheet by hand. This is usually necessary the first time that data are introduced into a computer. If the data already exist in a computer file of some kind, a simple way might exist to insert these data into a Gnumeric worksheet. If the data are in a text file, they can be inserted into a worksheet rapidly using the text conversion facilities. If data exist in a spreadsheet file of a different format, Gnumeric may be able to open the file and the data can then be copied where they are wanted.
This section explains how to enter data by hand into a spreadsheet. The techniques necessary to obtain data from other computer sources are explained in Chapter 14 ― Working with Files which deals with external data sources.
If the information being entered into Gnumeric cannot be interpreted correctly, Gnumeric will display an error message. The user may then be forced to edit the data before continuing. For example, a formula may be mathematically incorrect if the user has two operators in a row (e.g. =3+*4) and the dialog will give the user the chance to re-edit the entry or accept the entry as text rather than as a formula. When the formula is corrected, the leading apostrophe can be removed and Gnumeric will re-interpret the entry as a formula.