Microsoft Excel Single Use Spreadsheets
You can create spreadsheets designed to accomplish a single task

Task: Create a Trip Calculator - How much will a car trip cost? - Enter the distance between two locations, the current cost of gasoline and the number of miles per gallon which a car uses. Find out the fuel cost of the trip

The image above may not look like it, but it is a spreadsheet.

Anything that needs to be decided mathematically can be made into a single use spreadsheet. Some suggestions for this type of calculation include:
  • Calculating the price per ounce of a favorite cereal
  • Determine the price per square inch of a pizza
  • Estimate the price of objects on sale for some given percentage off
  • The cost of buying everyone in the world a Coke (remember that old song)
There are three phases in creating the spreadsheet you see above:
  • Planning the information needed and how the calculation would be done
  • Creating the spreadsheet and writing the equation
  • Designing the look of the final product
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Phase 1 - Planning the information needed and how the calculation would be done

The following information is needed for this calculation
  • The number of miles to be traveled
  • The number of miles that the vehicle will travel on one gallon of gas (mpg)
  • The average cost of a gallon of gas (rounded to the nearest penny)
The calculation also involves multiple steps
  • Determine the number of gallons of gas to be used
    • number of miles divided by miles per gallon gives the number of gallons of gas needed
  • Determine the cost of the gasoline needed for the trip
    • number of gallons of gas needed times the cost per gallon gives the cost of the trip
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Phase 2 - Creating the spreadsheet and writing the equation
  • Step 1 - Open an Excel workbook
  • Step 2 - Type basic information onto the sheet
    • In cell B2 type Trip Cost Estimator
    • In cell B4 type Type the number of miles (round trip) you will travel
    • In cell D6 type a number of miles
    • In cell E6 type the word miles
    • In cell B8 type How many miles per gallon does your vehicle usually get?
    • In cell D10 type a number of miles per gallon
    • In cell B12 type How much does a gallon of gasoline cost?
    • In cell D14 type the typical cost of a gallon of gas
    • In cell B16 type The cost of your trip will be:
    • In cell D18 you will enter an equation
  • Step 3 - Determine what the equation should be.
    • First the number of miles (in cell D6) should be divided by the number of miles per gallon (in cell D10)
    • Then that number of gallons is to be multiplied by the cost of a gallon of gas (in cell D14)
    • The above statement is typed into cell D18 as:
    • =(D6/D10)*D1
  • Step 4 - As soon as the equation is entered into D18, the cost of the trip is calculated.
  • Step 5 - Save your work
  • Step 6 - Enter data for another trip, use a different number of miles and miles per gallon.
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Phase 3 - Designing the look of the final product
  • Step 1 - While still seeing the grid lines, use the Merge & Center button on the cells in column B which contained text
  • Step 2 - Next, removed the grid lines, or simply cover them with colored fill.
    • Select All on the worksheet you are using - depress Ctrl key and tap the A key twice
    • Use the Fill Color button to make the sheet a solid color
  • Step 3 - Use the Fill Color button to draw the blue border, and to highlight the cells where data will be entered.
  • Step 4 - Use the Borders button to place a dark black around the cells where data will be entered.
  • Step 5 - Find a clip art image to match the topic of your single use spreadsheet.
  • Step 6 - Begin looking for another idea for a single use spreadsheet.