What Are the Functions of Spreadsheets?

A spreadsheet is a grid composed of an indefinite number of rows and columns that cross to make cells where information is entered. Many people use spreadsheets because of their easy-to-operate functions. Spreadsheets once were known as worksheets used for educational and business purposes only. Today spreadsheets have been discovered also by moms making shopping lists and children creating Christmas wish lists.

Functions

Spreadsheets feature columns and rows to keep inserted information legible and simple to understand. You can use spreadsheets to enter data, calculate equations and create charts and graphs. Spreadsheet software has the capability to create a million rows by 16,000 columns, easily enough space to store large databases of text and data.

Computations

A spreadsheet program can be made to compute a variety of mathematical functions, beginning with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. You can create relational functions such as greater than, equal than and less than.

Statistical Analysis

Excel can calculate sums, variances and averages of a range of numbers. Creating and analyzing statistical values, such as standard error of the mean and percentile ranks, and variables are additional available functions.

Formatting

The spreadsheet software allows cells, rows and columns to expand, merge, be inserted and deleted. This helps when you are using lengthy text and equations. Spreadsheet software also features some of the functions found in word-processing applications, allowing you to format row and column headlines by underlining and changing styles to italic, bold and other text attributes. You can edit font size and color of the data, and center or align the information in the cells.

History

Spreadsheets have been around for hundreds of years; however, it wasn't until 1978 that they became functional as a computer program. A business student at Harvard led the way to inventing this important tool for calculating and organizing data. Since that modest beginning, software companies have created programs that make a spreadsheet and its functions easier to comprehend. Now it isn't used exclusively for complex corporate balance sheets; now a task as simple as creating an invitation list can be done by anyone.

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