Spreadsheets Made Simple
By Stephen Bucaro
A spreadsheet is a computer program used to store, organize, and analyze numerical
data. Examples of data that can be used with a spreadsheet is expenses per employee,
sales by salesperson, or even just a household budget. Many companies today expect
their employees to be able to use spreadsheets. In this article, I'll explain
spreadsheets in the simplest terms.
Although there are many different spreadsheet programs, they all work in the same
way. They use a grid consisting of cells arranged in columns and rows. Columns of
cells are labeled with letters, rows are labeled with numbers. Any cell in a
spreadsheet can be identified by its column letter and row number.
You can enter numbers into the cells in a spreadsheet. Once the data is entered
into the spreadsheet it can quickly and easily be manipulated and analyzed. You can
perform operations on the numbers in the cells by entering a formula into a cell.
To enter data into a spreadsheet, click on the cell in which you want to enter
the data, type in your data, then pressing the [Enter] button. You can easily move
around in a speadsheet by using the arrow keys. If you want to change the contents
of a cell after pressing the [Enter] button, double-click inside the cell.
You can also enter text into cells. Text is usually entered into the cells in the
first row and first column to identify the data in each row and column. For example,
in a budget, the first row of cells may contain the names of months. The first
column of cells may contain the names of categories of expenses.
A formula defines the operation or function to be performed, along with the
identities of the cells containing the numbers to be acted upon.
If you enter the formula =A2+B2 into cell C2, and press the [Enter] button,
the value in cell A2 will be added to the value in cell B2 and the results will
appear in cell C2.