Before you start putting your height data in your Excel spreadsheet, think about the most logical way to represent your data. First, decide if you are working in metric or standard units, and then decide on the best way to represent your data within those units based on the types of heights you are measuring. For example, you are probably going to choose a different format for representing a building's height than you would for representing a person's height.
If you are measuring heights in the metric system, such as kilometers, meters or centimeters, you're generally best off putting the data in as a whole number or a whole number with a decimal point. Just make sure you're using consistent units. For example, all your heights must be in centimeters, such as 7.1 centimeters or 71 centimeters, or all your heights must be in meters such as 71 meters, 5.3 meters, or .80 meters.
If you want to populate your table with data in standard units, such as miles, feet, and inches, you have a few options on how you represent your data. You can use the same process as you would with metric units and enter your data as a whole number or a whole number with a decimal point, such as 15 inches or 6.2 feet. With the standard unit, representing feet and inches together, such as a person's height, can get tricky. For example, if you want to create a table to list a group of people's heights and you want to put it in the feet and inches format, you may want to consider using a custom function. In this case, first put in all of the heights without the markings and without spaces. For example, a 5' 11" person's height would need to be typed in as 511, while 5' 2" would be 52. Once you have put all of the data in the rows or columns you desire, highlight the information, and under "Number" click on "Custom." In the screen that appears, navigate to "Custom" and paste the following function into the "Type" field:
[<100]#' #'';#' ##\"
Press "OK" and your data will be changed into the desired format.
Rosemary Peters holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and a Master of Science in science communication. She has worked on editorial and design content across several publications, including "The Beacon" and "International Innovation." She has also spent time working in the Science radio unit at the BBC.