### Types of data in Excel

Generally speaking, *data type* refers to the characteristics of the information stored in a worksheet cell.

For the purposes of this introductory tutorial we will focus on two main types of data in Excel:

- Text
- Numbers

**Text data** is most often words that are used for worksheet headings, names, and for identifying columns of data.

Text data can contain letters numbers, and specialty characters such as *!* or *&*. By default, text data is left aligned in a cell.

**Numbers** can be used in calculations. By default, numbers are right aligned in a cell.

In addition to actual numbers - such as 10, 20, 30, 40 - Excel also stores dates and times as numbers.

Problems can arise if numbers get stored as text data. This can prevent them from being used in calculations.

**Formulas:** a formula is a mathematical equation such as adding or subtracting two numbers.

Formulas, which includes Excel's functions are usually considered to be *Numbers* but they are sometimes identified as a separate type of data.