Over the last couple of issues, we’ve covered the basics of how to use Pages and Keynote for the iPad. The programs might be part of the same suite but both have different ways of tackling a few specific issues – for instance, how to select multiple slides at the same time in Keynote. The Numbers programmers have devised a variety of interesting solutions to the problems of adding and removing columns and rows, how to manually reorder them, and how to apply figures to a chart. 

This tutorial will show you all of these along with a few other features to give you a good idea of what you can achieve with spreadsheets on an iPad. We’ll also take a close look at the keyboard, which intuitively offers different keys depending on the type of cell selected.

1. Choosing a Template  Let’s start by creating a new document. Launch Numbers then, if you’re not already seeing the Gallery, tap on the ‘My Spreadsheets’ button, top left of the screen. Once there, tap on ‘New Spreadsheet’ which is also top left of the screen. You’ll be offered a choice of templates. Select ‘Blank’.

2. Adding Descriptions  You’ll be presented with a basic table with headers, and a few columns and rows. Double-tap on any header cell to select it and reveal the usual keyboard. Type in a name, then tap on other header cells and give them a name as well. Once you’ve finished, tap on ‘Done’, top right of the keyboard to conceal it.

3. Filling the Numbers  Double-tap on a regular cell (any white one) to select it and reveal the keyboard again. Only this time it’s different: Numbers assumes that you’re going to type in numerical values and presents you with a numeric keypad. You can select another cell by tapping on it or by using one of two ‘Next’ keys in your keyboard (bottom right).

4. Keyboard Options  Should you need to input something other than a number, look top left of the keyboard. You’ll see a bar with four icons. These are the four available options. From left to right, they offer numerical input, date and time, standard keyboard, and formulas. The numerical keyboard also lets you add checkboxes and star ratings.