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Spreadsheets Made Simple

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.

Spreadsheet cells

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.

Spreadsheet formula

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.

Spreadsheet calculation result

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