Importing Sample Data
Let's download some data to demonstrate how to import it into a Google Docs spreadsheet, and also to give us some sample data to use to show how to do calculations and use other features of a spreadsheet.
The FBI compiles national crime statistics, including data on the types of weapons used in homicides.
This data is in an Excel spreadsheet (.xls) file that can be downloaded from the FBI website and then imported into a Google Doc spreadsheet.
To download the file go to this FBI web page:
At that page, under the heading for:
by Weapon, 2004–2008
Click on the link at the top for:
The file will be downloaded onto your computer.
(if for some reason you have trouble downloading this file, you can click here to download the file from our website)
To import the file into a Google Docs spreadsheet, create a new spreadsheet and in the menu at the top click on:
Click on the Browse button and navigate to the downloaded FBI file which is named 08shrtbl08.xls.
Select that 08shrtbl08.xls file and click on Import.
After a few seconds you'll be prompted that the file has been successfullly uploaded. Then click on Open now.
You should see a Google Docs spreadsheet that looks like this:
This spreadsheet shows the number of murder victims in each year from 2004 to 2008 in five columns, with the columns labeled by year in cells B4 to F4.
Below that the spreadsheet shows the weapon used in the murders in 18 rows of data, with the rows labeled by type of weapon in cells A5 (which is the overall total for all weapons) to A22.