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Names in Spreadsheets

Spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers, and Google Sheets, are ideal for simple presentations and basic data-keeping functions like membership lists, party invitees, and schedules for tennis, golf, bridge, and mah jongg.

If you are creating a spreadsheet, consider entering Last Names and First Names in separate columns. This might seem like more work at first, but it will make your life much easier later if you need to sort alphabetically by Last Name. If the names are entered as Full Names (First Name followed by the Last Name in the same cell), you cannot sort the data by Last Name.
Notes:

  • You may also want a column of Full Names (for envelopes, place cards, or nametags) which you can create alongside the separate First and Last Name columns.
  • If you inherit a spreadsheet that only has Full Names in one column, you can create separate First and Last Name columns by copying the Full Name column twice and deleting the First Names in one column and the Last Names in the other column. (Anything but re-typing!)

I hope this helps.