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4.1: What is a Spreadsheet?

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    A spreadsheet is a collection of data that is organized into rows and columns. Microsoft® Excel is a spreadsheet application used to store and analyze quantitative data. An Excel file is called a workbook, and it is saved with an .xlsx extension. A workbook file consists of one or more worksheets which consists of many columns and rows. Columns are the vertical part of a worksheet grid identified by letters. Rows are the horizontal part of a worksheet grid identified by numbers. The intersection of a row and column is called a cell. Each cell can store a single item of data. The data can contain text, numbers, formulas, and/or functions. Clicking a cell with the mouse pointer will make the selected cell the active cell. The active cell’s contents are displayed in the formula bar.

    Typical uses for Excel include:

    • Accounting reports (Balance Sheets, Income Statements, etc)
    • Budgets
    • Calendars
    • Checklists and task lists
    • Contact/Address lists
    • Expense tracking
    • Inventory control
    • Invoices
    • Mortgage and other financial calculations
    • Operational statistics
    • Sales price lists, forecasts and analysis

    This page titled 4.1: What is a Spreadsheet? is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Marcus Lacher (Minnesota Libraries Publishing Project) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.