What Is a Value on a Spreadsheet?

By Tricia Goss

Spreadsheets are useful at home and in business applications. Spreadsheets make it easy to view and exhibit data in a number of manners. Values are one of the primary types of data used in spreadsheets


Values are numbers entered into spreadsheet cells. If a formula or function returns a number into a cell, this data is also a value.


While values are always numerical, there are several categories that can be considered values, such as currency, dates and times and percentages or fractions.


If numbers are entered into a cell, but then the cell is formatted as containing text, the cell will still display a numerical value. However, functions and formulas will not recognize the data as a value.


Spreadsheet values can be formatted to appear precisely as needed. For instance, cells can be formatted so that negative values appear in red, in brackets or with a leading minus sign (-).


Most spreadsheet programs contain multiple built-in mathematical functions that allow the user to calculate values in a number of complicated manners.