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Spreadsheet is a computer program used to organize numerical and other data in rows and columns, and then to perform calculations involving the rows and columns of numbers.

Uses of spreadsheets include both financial and scientific work. Spreadsheet also refers to a body of data created by means of a spreadsheet program, and to a display of such data on a computer screen.

Accountant’s Spreadsheet

The term spreadsheet comes from the accountant’s spreadsheet–a large piece of lined paper used to list and analyse financial information.

Spreadsheet programs have almost completely replaced the paper document because they can take much of the drudgery out of accounting work.

Mathematical Operation

These programs, which accommodate hundreds of columns and thousands of rows of data, can perform many mathematical operations. They also make it easy to insert, delete, change, and reorganize information. In addition, some programs can display data in graphs.

Rows and Columns

A spreadsheet display on a computer screen consists of horizontal rows and vertical columns. The columns may be identified by letters–A, B, C, etc. –and the rows by numbers–1, 2, 3, etc. The intersection of a column and a row is called a cell and is identified by a column letter and a row number.

For example, the cell C2 in a spreadsheet is the intersection of the third column with the second row.

Linking Cells

Formulas link cells so that a change in one cell automatically changes all related cells.

Some programs link cells in one worksheet (set of rows and columns) with cells in one or more other worksheets. A corporation might use such a program to evaluate ways it might invest in its divisions.

Changing certain cells in the corporate worksheet would automatically change cells in divisional worksheets.

History of Spreadsheets

The first spreadsheet program was VisiCalc, introduced in 1978 for use on the Apple II personal computer. In 1982 Lotus 1-2-3–was introduced. It became the most popular spreadsheet program when DOS was the dominant operating system.

Excel now has the largest market share on the Windows and Macintosh platforms. A spreadsheet program is a standard feature of an office productivity suite. Since the advent of web apps, office Gsuites now also exist in web app form.

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1. What is a spreadsheet? What is its purpose?

2. The main users of spreadsheets are businesses, science and research. True or false?

3. Where did spreadsheets come from? What is it based on?

4. Have spreadsheets completely replaced paper and pen documents?

5. What are some features of spreadsheets?

6. Define row, column and cells.

7. Can cells, rows and columns be linked or connected to one another?

8. Has there been a single spreadsheet program?
A. Do you know how to use spreadsheets? Have you worked with spreadsheets?

B. Which spreadsheet programs have you used?

C. Is or was it easy to learn spreadsheeting? Do you know every feature of spreadsheets?

D. What have you used spreadsheets for?

E. Is it fun to use spreadsheets?

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