How Do I Use Numbers On My Mac

Emily Thomas

Have you ever found yourself questioning how to effectively use Numbers on your Mac? If so, you’re in the right place. This article will provide you with all the guidance you need to confidently navigate the Numbers application and make the most of its features. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to enhance your existing skills, we’ve got you covered. Ready to unlock the power of Numbers on your Mac? Let’s get started!

Getting Started with Numbers

Numbers is a powerful spreadsheet application available for Mac users through the Mac App Store. With Numbers, you can easily create, edit, and analyze data in a visually appealing and user-friendly interface. In this article, we will guide you through the process of downloading Numbers, opening it on your Mac, creating new spreadsheets, and importing existing spreadsheets.

Downloading Numbers from the Mac App Store

To get started with Numbers, you’ll first need to download it from the Mac App Store. Open the App Store on your Mac and search for “Numbers” in the search bar. Once you find Numbers, click on the “Get” button to begin the download. Depending on your internet connection, the download may take a few moments. Once the download is complete, you’ll find Numbers in your Applications folder.

Opening Numbers

After the download is complete, locate the Numbers application in your Applications folder and double-click on it to open it. Alternatively, you can use Spotlight to search for Numbers and open it directly from there. Once Numbers is open, you’ll be greeted with a welcoming interface, ready for you to start working on your spreadsheets.

Creating a New Spreadsheet

To create a new spreadsheet in Numbers, click on the “+” button on the top left corner of the Numbers window. This will open a new empty spreadsheet for you to start adding your data. You can also create a new spreadsheet by going to “File” in the top menu bar and selecting “New Spreadsheet” from the drop-down menu. Numbers offers a variety of pre-designed templates for different types of spreadsheets, such as budgets, schedules, and invoices. If you prefer to start with a template, you can choose one from the template chooser window that appears when you create a new spreadsheet.

Importing Spreadsheets

If you already have existing spreadsheets in another format, such as Microsoft Excel or CSV files, you can easily import them into Numbers. To import a spreadsheet, go to “File” in the top menu bar, select “Import” from the drop-down menu, and choose the file you want to import. Numbers will convert the file into its own format and open it in a new spreadsheet. This allows you to seamlessly work with spreadsheets from different sources without losing any data.

Navigating the Numbers Interface

Once you have opened Numbers, let’s take a closer look at its interface and the various tools and features available to you.


The toolbar in Numbers is located at the top of the window and provides quick access to commonly used tools and commands. It includes buttons for actions such as saving your spreadsheet, adding and removing sheets, formatting cells and text, inserting shapes, creating charts, and more. The toolbar is customizable, allowing you to add or remove buttons based on your preferences. You can also right-click on the toolbar to see additional options and settings.


The sidebar in Numbers is located on the right side of the window and provides easy access to various cell formatting options, table settings, chart settings, and more. It allows you to quickly navigate and modify different aspects of your spreadsheet without cluttering the main workspace. The sidebar can be collapsed or expanded by clicking on the arrow icon at the top. You can also customize the sidebar by selecting which tabs and sections to display.


The inspector in Numbers is a contextual tool that appears on the right side of the window when you select a specific element in your spreadsheet, such as a cell, chart, or table. The inspector provides detailed controls and settings for the selected element, allowing you to customize its appearance, apply formatting, adjust formulas, and more. The inspector is highly versatile and adapts to the element you are working with, providing relevant options and tools.

Format Bar

The format bar in Numbers is located at the top of the window, just below the toolbar. It allows you to quickly change the formatting of selected cells, such as font style, size, color, alignment, borders, and fill colors. The format bar also provides access to additional formatting options, such as number formats, conditional formatting, cell merging, and more. It offers a convenient way to customize the look and feel of your spreadsheet without diving into complex menus.

How Do I Use Numbers On My Mac

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Working with Worksheets

Worksheets are the individual tabs within a Numbers spreadsheet, where you can organize and manage your data. Let’s explore some common tasks related to working with worksheets.

Adding Worksheets

To add a new worksheet to your spreadsheet, click on the “+” button located at the bottom left corner of the Numbers window, next to the existing worksheets. Each new worksheet will be given a default name, such as “Sheet 2,” “Sheet 3,” and so on. You can rename the worksheets by double-clicking on their names or right-clicking and selecting “Rename Sheet” from the contextual menu. Adding multiple worksheets allows you to organize different sets of data within a single spreadsheet.

Deleting Worksheets

If you want to delete a worksheet from your spreadsheet, right-click on its name and select “Delete” from the contextual menu. Alternatively, you can go to “Edit” in the top menu bar, choose “Delete,” and then select the desired worksheet. Be cautious when deleting a worksheet as this action is irreversible, and all data within the worksheet will be permanently removed. It is recommended to make a backup of your spreadsheet before deleting any worksheets.

Renaming Worksheets

To rename a worksheet, either double-click on its name or right-click and select “Rename Sheet” from the contextual menu. A text box will appear, allowing you to enter a new name. Choose a descriptive and meaningful name that reflects the purpose or content of the worksheet. Renaming worksheets can help you stay organized and quickly locate specific data within your spreadsheet.

Navigating Between Worksheets

To switch between worksheets in a Numbers spreadsheet, simply click on the desired sheet’s name at the bottom of the Numbers window. You can also use the arrow buttons located to the left and right of the sheet names to navigate sequentially through the worksheets. Another way to switch between worksheets is to use the “View” menu in the top menu bar and select the desired sheet from the “Sheets” sub-menu. This allows you to easily access and work with different sheets within your spreadsheet.

Entering and Editing Data

Entering and editing data is a fundamental aspect of working with spreadsheets. Numbers provides intuitive ways to input and modify data within individual cells. Let’s explore these capabilities in detail.

Entering Data into Cells

To enter data into a cell, select the cell by clicking on it, and start typing. The entered data will appear in the selected cell and can be edited at any time. Numeric data can include numbers, formulas, or calculations, while text data can include letters, words, and sentences. You can navigate across cells using the arrow keys or the Tab key. When entering long text that exceeds the visible width of a cell, Numbers automatically adjusts the cell size to fit the text, allowing you to input and view extensive data seamlessly.

Editing Cell Contents

To edit the contents of a cell, simply double-click on the cell you want to edit or select it and press the Enter key. The cell will enter the editing mode, allowing you to modify the existing content. You can use the arrow keys to move within the cell and make changes or use the mouse to position the cursor at the desired location. After making the necessary edits, press Enter or click outside the cell to save the changes. Editing is a powerful feature that enables you to update data and formulas effortlessly.

Copying and Pasting Data

Numbers allows you to copy and paste data within the same spreadsheet or between different spreadsheets. To copy data, select the cells you want to copy and go to “Edit” in the top menu bar. Choose “Copy” or use the shortcut Command + C. To paste the copied data, navigate to the desired location and go to “Edit” again, then select “Paste” or use the shortcut Command + V. You can also right-click and choose the respective options from the contextual menu. This feature simplifies data duplication and facilitates efficient data entry.

Undo and Redo

Inevitably, mistakes happen when working with data. Numbers provides the ability to undo and redo actions to revert or repeat changes made to your spreadsheet. To undo the most recent action, go to “Edit” and select “Undo” or use the shortcut Command + Z. To redo an action that was undone, go to “Edit” again and choose “Redo” or use the shortcut Command + Shift + Z. These commands enable you to experiment and make changes without the fear of losing important data or modifications.

How Do I Use Numbers On My Mac

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Formatting Options

Formatting is a crucial aspect of creating visually appealing and well-organized spreadsheets. Numbers offers a wide range of formatting options to customize the appearance of your data, text, cells, and more. Let’s explore these formatting options in detail.

Changing Cell Formatting

To change the formatting of a cell or a range of cells, select the cells you want to format and go to the “Format” menu in the top menu bar. From there, you can choose a variety of formatting options, such as changing the font, font size, font color, background color, alignment, and more. You can also access cell formatting options through the format bar at the top of the Numbers window or the sidebar on the right. Experiment with different formatting styles to find the one that best suits your needs.

Formatting Text

Formatting text in Numbers allows you to emphasize important information, make data more readable, and create visually pleasing spreadsheets. To format text, select the desired cells or content and go to the “Format” menu. From there, you can apply formatting settings such as bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, and so on. Additionally, you can change the text color, adjust the font style, and modify other text attributes. By applying consistent text formatting, you can improve the overall clarity and professionalism of your spreadsheet.

Applying Borders and Fill Colors

Borders and fill colors can be applied to cells, tables, and individual elements within your spreadsheet to highlight specific information or create clear visual divisions. To add borders or fill colors, select the target cells or elements and go to the “Format” menu. From there, you can choose the desired border style, thickness, and color. Similarly, you can select a fill color or gradient to change the background appearance of the selected cells or elements. Using consistent border and fill color styles enhances the readability and organization of your spreadsheet.

Using Conditional Formatting

Conditional formatting in Numbers allows you to automatically apply formatting based on specific conditions or rules. This feature is useful for highlighting data that meets certain criteria, such as values that exceed a threshold, duplicates, or outliers. To apply conditional formatting, select the target cells and go to the “Format” menu. From there, choose “Conditional Highlighting” to access pre-set rules or create custom rules based on your requirements. Conditional formatting helps you visualize trends, identify patterns, and draw attention to key insights within your data.

Managing Tables and Ranges

Tables are a fundamental component of any spreadsheet, allowing you to organize and analyze data effectively. Numbers provides various tools and features to manage tables and ranges within your spreadsheets.

Creating Tables

To create a table in Numbers, select the range of cells that you want to convert into a table and go to the “Table” menu in the top menu bar. From there, choose “Create Table” to convert the selected cells into a table. Tables provide additional functionalities compared to regular cell ranges, including sorting, filtering, and the ability to apply formulas and calculations more easily. Creating tables helps you structure and manipulate your data efficiently.

Sorting Data

Sorting data in Numbers allows you to arrange your values or records in ascending or descending order based on specific criteria. To sort data, select the range or table you want to sort, and go to the “Table” menu. From there, choose “Sort” to access sorting options. You can sort by one or multiple columns and specify the sort order for each column. Sorting data helps you analyze trends, identify outliers, and compare values in a meaningful way.

Filtering Data

Filtering data in Numbers allows you to display only the information that meets specific conditions, making it easier to focus on relevant data. To apply filters, select the range or table you want to filter and go to the “Table” menu. From there, choose “Filter” to access the filter options. You can create filters based on various conditions, such as text, numbers, dates, or custom criteria. Filtering data enables you to narrow down your dataset and extract the information you need for analysis or reporting.

Creating Formulas and Functions

Formulas and functions are powerful tools in Numbers that allow you to perform calculations, manipulate data, and automate repetitive tasks. To create a formula or function, select the target cell and click on the formula bar at the top of the Numbers window. From there, you can type the desired formula or function, using cell references, operators, and built-in functions. Numbers provides a vast library of mathematical, statistical, and text functions to choose from, allowing you to perform complex calculations and data manipulation effortlessly.

How Do I Use Numbers On My Mac

Visualizing Data with Charts

Charts are an effective way to visualize and analyze data, making complex information easier to understand and interpret. Numbers offers a wide range of chart types and customization options to create visually appealing and informative charts.

Creating a Chart

To create a chart in Numbers, select the data range that you want to include in the chart and go to the “Charts” tab in the format sidebar. From there, click on the desired chart type to create a chart based on your selected data. Numbers offers a variety of chart types, including bar charts, line charts, pie charts, scatter plots, and more. Once the chart is created, you can customize its appearance, data series, labels, and other settings to meet your specific needs.

Chart Types

Numbers provides several chart types to visualize your data in different ways, depending on the nature of your data and the insights you want to convey. Some of the most commonly used chart types include:

  • Bar Charts: Ideal for comparing data across different categories or groups.
  • Line Charts: Suitable for showing trends and changes over time.
  • Pie Charts: Helpful for illustrating proportions and percentages.
  • Scatter Plots: Great for analyzing relationships and correlations between multiple variables.
  • Area Charts: Useful for demonstrating cumulative data or stacked values.
  • Column Charts: Similar to bar charts, they are useful for comparing data in vertical columns.

Customizing Charts

Once you have created a chart, Numbers provides extensive customization options to tailor its appearance and style. You can modify various aspects of the chart, including axes, labels, legends, colors, fonts, and more. To customize a chart, select it, and go to the format sidebar. From there, you can explore different tabs and sections to adjust the desired settings. Customizing charts allows you to create visually compelling visualizations that effectively communicate your data insights.

Updating Chart Data

As your data changes or evolves, you may need to update the information displayed in your charts. Numbers simplifies the process of updating chart data. To update chart data, select the chart and go to the format sidebar. From there, you can adjust the data range or series that the chart is based on. Numbers automatically updates the chart accordingly based on the modified data. This flexibility allows you to keep your charts up to date with the latest information without the need for manual adjustments.

Collaborating on Spreadsheets

Numbers provides robust collaboration features that allow you to work on spreadsheets with others simultaneously. Whether you need to share your spreadsheet with colleagues, edit it together in real-time, or track changes made by different users, Numbers makes collaboration easy and efficient.

Sharing Spreadsheets

To share a spreadsheet with others, go to the “File” menu and select “Share.” From there, you can choose the sharing options that best suit your needs. You can invite others via email, generate a link to share, or collaborate on spreadsheets stored in cloud services like iCloud Drive, Dropbox, or Google Drive. Numbers also allows you to set permissions and control who can view, edit, or comment on your shared spreadsheet. Sharing spreadsheets enables seamless collaboration and encourages teamwork.

Collaborative Editing

Once you have shared a spreadsheet with others, you can collaborate on it in real-time. Each collaborator can make changes, add data, edit formulas, and apply formatting simultaneously. Numbers updates the spreadsheet instantly, reflecting the changes made by every collaborator. Real-time collaboration improves productivity, eliminates the need for sending multiple versions of the same spreadsheet, and fosters efficient teamwork.

Tracking Changes

If you want to keep track of the changes made by different collaborators, Numbers offers a built-in tracking changes feature. When enabled, any modifications made by collaborators are highlighted, allowing you to see who made the changes and when. You can review each change individually, accept or reject them, and add comments to discuss specific modifications. Tracking changes provides transparency and helps maintain the integrity of your spreadsheet during collaborative editing.

How Do I Use Numbers On My Mac

Using Formulas and Functions

Formulas and functions are essential tools in Numbers, allowing you to perform mathematical calculations, statistical analysis, and manipulate text. Let’s explore different aspects of using formulas and functions in Numbers.

Entering Formulas

To enter a formula in Numbers, select the target cell where you want the result to appear and start by typing the “=” sign. After entering the “=” sign, you can use various mathematical operators, cell references, and built-in functions to create your formula. Numbers provides an intuitive formula entry and editing experience, offering suggestions and auto-completion to simplify the formula creation process.

Mathematical Functions

Numbers offers a comprehensive library of mathematical functions that allows you to perform calculations on numerical data. Some commonly used mathematical functions include SUM, AVERAGE, MAX, MIN, COUNT, IF, ROUND, and many more. These functions enable you to perform basic arithmetic operations, calculate averages, find the highest or lowest values, count occurrences, and more. You can use these functions individually or combine them to create more complex calculations.

Statistical Functions

For statistical analysis, Numbers provides a wide range of statistical functions that can help you analyze data, identify patterns, and derive meaningful insights. Statistical functions such as STDEV, VAR, CORREL, MEDIAN, TREND, and more are useful for tasks like calculating standard deviation, variance, correlation, finding the median, predicting trends, and performing regression analysis. These functions assist in understanding and interpreting data, making data-driven decisions easier.

Text Functions

Numbers offers various text functions that allow you to manipulate and format text data. Text functions enable you to extract specific characters from a string, combine multiple text strings, convert text to uppercase or lowercase, find characters or words within a string, and perform other textual operations. Some commonly used text functions include CONCATENATE, LEFT, RIGHT, MID, UPPER, LOWER, SEARCH, REPLACE, and more. These functions enhance the flexibility and usefulness of your spreadsheet when working with textual information.

Exporting and Printing

Numbers allows you to export and print your spreadsheets, making it easy to share data or have physical copies for reference. Let’s explore the different export and printing options available in Numbers.

Exporting Spreadsheets

To export a spreadsheet, go to the “File” menu and select “Export To.” From there, you can choose from various file formats, including Excel, CSV, PDF, and more. Select the desired format and customize any additional options before proceeding with the export. Numbers also provides the option to export specific sheets or ranges within your spreadsheet. Exporting spreadsheets allows you to share data with users who might not have Numbers or to collaborate with users on different platforms.

Printing Options

Printing your spreadsheet can be useful when you need physical copies for meetings, reports, or archives. To print a spreadsheet, go to the “File” menu and select “Print” or use the shortcut Command + P. This will open the print options dialog, where you can select the desired printer, page layout, paper size, orientation, and other printing settings. Numbers automatically creates a print preview, allowing you to see how your spreadsheet will look on paper. Adjust the settings as necessary and click “Print” to generate the printed copy.

Creating PDFs

Numbers allows you to directly create PDF files from your spreadsheets. To create a PDF, go to the “File” menu and select “Export To.” From there, choose the PDF format, specify any additional settings if required, and click “Next.” Choose the destination folder and provide a name for the PDF file. Finally, click “Export” to generate the PDF file. Creating PDFs preserves the formatting and layout of your spreadsheet, making it easy to share files digitally or print them at a later time.

In conclusion, Numbers is a versatile and user-friendly spreadsheet application that offers a wide range of features and tools to help you manage and analyze data effectively. Whether you’re a beginner learning the basics or an experienced user leveraging advanced functionalities, Numbers provides a comprehensive set of capabilities to meet your requirements. By following the instructions and tips provided in this article, you can confidently navigate the Numbers interface, work with worksheets, enter and edit data, apply formatting options, manage tables and ranges, visualize data with charts, collaborate with others, use formulas and functions, and export or print your spreadsheets. With Numbers, you have the power to create professional-looking spreadsheets and make data-driven decisions with ease.