Are you looking for a new spreadsheet app with Apple’s native feeling? You can try out Apple Numbers app. This Apple Numbers tutorial will get you started effortlessly.
Apple Numbers is the Excel alternative for the Apple operating systems like iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. It does most of the tasks that you can do on Excel, visualizing data on Pivot Tables, creating mathematical charts, calculating, creating financial dashboards, etc.
Also, it’s free for your Apple devices like MacBook, iMac, iPhone, and iPad. The app syncs automatically among various Apple devices signed in with the same Apple ID so you can resume work on any device.
Let’s deep dive into the app and explore its features along with how-tos.
How to Access Apple Numbers App
The first thing first of the Apple Numbers tutorial is how can you get the app. When you’re using the iOS 16 on your iPhone or iPad, you already got the app as it comes as an out-of-the-box app for iOS and iPadOS.
If you don’t see the app, go to App Store and download it for free. When you’re on macOS, here’s how you can download it:
- Open App Store from the Dock and type Numbers in the Search field.
- Hit Enter and you should see the Apple Numbers app as the top results.
- Click Get. Enter the password for your Apple ID and the app will start downloading and then install automatically.
- Once done, click Open to run Numbers.
When you complete downloading the app, you’ll find it in the App Library of iPhone, iPad, and Mac. The app icon is a bar chart on a light green background. Tap or click the icon to access Numbers.
Apple Numbers on the Web
Another great thing about Numbers is you can use the app from iCloud using a web browser. Here’s how you can access Numbers using any standard web browser using an Apple iCloud account:
- Go to the iCloud portal.
- Sign in using Apple ID and authenticate from any of your Apple devices.
- When you arrive on the home screen of iCloud, scroll down.
- You should find the Numbers app in the App Library of iCloud.
- Click the Numbers icon to get to the Welcome to Numbers screen.
- Click Continue and select Use Numbers.
- Click the plus (+) icon on the Numbers dashboard and go to the templates library.
- You can choose any pre-configured template or start using the basic Blank template.
The cloud operability of Numbers makes it a potential Google Sheets alternative.
If you’re looking for fresh features and UI on a spreadsheet app, then you can try Numbers from Windows 11 or 10 using the Google Chrome browser.
Apple Numbers Tutorial: Figuring Out the User Interface
Numbers UI on iPhone or iPad
The user interface (UI) of Numbers is minimalistic on iPad and iPhone. When you open a blank spreadsheet, here’s what you see:
A toolbar at the top of the Numbers screen offers you various options to add Tables, Charts, Shapes and text, and Media.
In Media, you get important features like importing photos, videos, drawings, and an equation editor.
On the right side of the toolbar, you get other frequently used options like Share, Undo, Object Styles, Table organization, and Customize Toolbar menu.
Below the toolbar, you get a menu bar for all the spreadsheets in the project. By clicking the plus (+) sign on the spreadsheets bar, you can add a New Sheet or New Form. To arrange the sheets or forms, long tap on an item and swipe left or right.
Numbers UI on MacBook and iMac
When you run Numbers on Mac, you get more features on the screen without opening additional menu boxes. Here are the UI elements of Numbers on MacBook or iMac:
The general options on the Numbers toolbar of macOS are Insert, Table, Chart, Text, Shape, Media, and Comment.
Insert is the home of all formulas of the Numbers app. Select any cell within Sheet 1 Table 1 and then click Insert. You’ll see some popular mathematical functions like Sum, Average, Minimum, Maximum, Count, and Product.
If you need a different mathematical function, click New Formula. The formula editing option will show up automatically on the cell you selected. An alternative way to add formula on cells of the Numbers table is by typing in an equal (=) sign.
In the top right corner of the Numbers UI, you get Format and Organize. The Format menu lets you personalize the tables by editing Table Styles, Table Options, Headers & Footer, Table Outline, Table Font Size, Gridlines, Row & Column Size, and many more.
Other than customizing the spreadsheet tables, the Format menu offers tools to personalize other table content like Cells and Texts.
Unlike Excel, the spreadsheets on Numbers don’t open with so many rows and columns that might confuse you. Numbers open a concise table that you can extend horizontally and vertically by adding new cells.
To do that, you can use the Format menu of tables and increase the number of cells by modifying the values of Rows and Columns.
The Collaborate menu lets you edit a spreadsheet with collaborators from other locations. You can collaborate on Numbers via Mail, Messages, and Copy Link.
The Organize menu has three important commands. These are Categories, Sort, and Filter. You can use Categories to add rows into distinct categories for easier table summarization. Sort and Filter, as the names suggest, let you sort columns or rows or filter content from tables by inserting various sorting and filtering conditions.
Now that you know the UI of the Numbers app on macOS and iOS, let’s look at how to use some important spreadsheet functionalities in the next part of this Apple Numbers tutorial.
Most actions on the Numbers app for Mac and iCloud are similar. Additionally, the actions to use the app on iPhone and iPad are also the same. So, let’s explore the usage of the app on Mac and iPad below:
How to Create a Table on Numbers and Use Formulas
Steps on Mac
- A basic table will always be there when you create a new sheet.
- If you need a table for specialized calculations or data visualizations, click the Table menu on the toolbar and then pick any from the list.
- Once the table is on the sheet, you can start populating data by adding column headers.
- To use formulas, enter an equal (=) sign and then choose the function you want from the Functions menu on the right-side navigation panel.
- Under the Functions menu, you’ll see the categories of formulas like Date & Time, Engineering, Financial, Statistical, etc.
- Select any function from the sidebar and look below to find its description, use cases, and syntax that you need to enter in the functions field on the table.
- In the current table, I’m deriving the average numbers per student by using the AVERAGE command from the Statistical functions group. The syntax is as below:
Steps on iPad
- On iPad, you get the Table menu on the upper toolbar. Select the icon and choose a table you want to insert.
- Once the table is on Sheet 1, edit the column headings and popular data.
- On any cell, where you want to enter a function, tap twice to show the keyboard.
- On the keyboard, type equal (=), and the formula bar will show up above the keyboard.
- As you start typing the initial letters of the formula, the Numbers app will start showing relevant suggestions.
- Now, you can type the formula and add cells to it by tapping them on the table.
- Tap Return on the keyboard to see the calculated values.
To delete any table on any version of the Numbers app, simply click or tap on the table name and a double-circle will show up in the top left corner. Select that icon and press the Delete key on the keyboard to erase the table.
How to Create a Mathematical Chart From Table on Numbers
In this section of the Apple Numbers tutorial, you’ll see how effortless it’s to create outstanding data visualizations on the app using charts and graphs.
Steps for Mac
- Select the values and texts on columns and rows that you want to include in the graph.
- Then, click the Chart menu from the toolbar.
- Choose the kind of graph you want from 2D, 3D, and Interactive.
- Then, select the type of graph you want to include, like a column chart, bar graph, horizontal column chart, Pie chart, and so on.
- Once you add a graph, look at the bottom of the right-side navigation panel.
- There, you see the Chart Type menu.
- Click the drop-down lists beside the Chart Type menu to switch the graph to another model from the list.
- To modify a chart, select it and then click Axis and Series at the top of the right-side navigation panel to modify chart properties like X-axis, Y-axis, Value Labels, and so on.
- To delete a chart, simply click it and press Delete on the keyboard.
Steps for iPad
- Select the values and texts on a table that you need in a chart.
- Then, tap on the Chart menu.
- Select the chart type you want.
- The chart will show up beneath the table.
- Tap the chart once to show the chart editing toolbar.
- The toolbar shows further editing options like Edit References, Edit Series, Select Objects, etc.
How to Add Images, Shapes, and Videos to Sheets on Numbers
You can make a robust financial report that attracts the audience by adding supplementary data from videos and images.
Also, you can add flowchart-like shapes to describe workflows on Numbers. In this Apple Numbers tutorial, find the steps below:
Steps for Mac
- Click the Shape menu and browse the shape categories to explore shapes on Numbers.
- Click on any vector shape to add it to the spreadsheet.
- On the right side, you should see the Style and Text editing options for shapes.
- Click the Media menu to open its context menu that shows media importing options.
Steps for iPad
- While on a table inside a sheet, tap the Media menu to add media and Shapes & Text to add vector graphics to the spreadsheet.
- Once you tap Shapes & Texts, a context menu will open with a list of categories on the top and components below.
- Swipe the category left or right to explore new shape options.
- Tap on any shape to include it in the sheet.
- Select a shape on the sheet and tap the paintbrush icon on the top right corner to edit text and styles.
- To add media, simply tap the Media menu to get options like Photo, Video, Camera, Record Audio, etc.
Apple Numbers Tutorial: Templates
The best way to use Numbers as a beginner is to use pre-configured templates from its dashboard.
The templates library contains some awesome formats for personal and professional use cases like the ones mentioned here:
- Pivot Tables
- Checklist Total
- Personal Budget
- My Stocks, Calendar
- Return on Investment
- Employee Schedule
- Grade Book and so on
The Apple Numbers tutorial has so far explained the basic actions that you can perform on the app to create spreadsheets for home, work, and school. Give the app a try and comment below on how did the app perform as an Excel alternative or Google Sheets alternative.