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Jan's Computer Basics:

Applications: Spreadsheet

SpreadsheetA spreadsheet is the application of choice for most documents that organize numbers, like budgets, financial statements, grade sheets, and sales records. A spreadsheet can perform simple and very complex calculations on the numbers you enter in rows and columns.

Examples of spreadsheet programs: MS Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, Quattro Pro, and Open Office Calc.

  • Organizing numbers
Major Advantages:
  • Can calculate for you using formulas
  • Auto-update of related numbers when data changes
  • Can display data in charts


rows and 
Creates a grid rowscolumns
cell Intersection of row and column. Can contain text or numbers or a formula.


formula Calculates value to put in cell, like a total, an average, interest amount, etc.
chart Graphical representation of the data

Excel charts

Do It! Excel

Would you like to see a spreadsheet at work?

You can open an actual spreadsheet by clicking one of the icons in the first row below. The file will download and open in whatever software you have that can open an Excel spreadsheet.

If you do not have the software to actually open the spreadsheet, use the second set of links to open images that show how a spreadsheet looks. The images open in a new window.

Excel spreadsheet:

Links to sample-budget.xls  Links to sample-grades-if.xls 

Image of Excel spreadsheet:

Links to images of sample-budget.xls  Links to images of grades-if.xls

Look for the spreadsheet features listed above.
[rows, columns, cells, formulas, and charts]

Do It! Google Spreadsheet

The example below is a Google Spreadsheet, which you can view here if you are online but not edit. It has 4 sheets (tabs at the bottom of the frame).

For a full set of lessons on spreadsheets, go to the section:  Working with NumbersArrow indicating link to new subweb