What are spreadsheet programs used for?

Spreadsheet: multiple uses of a software

Tables help to display texts and data in an orderly manner, while the spreadsheet tries to calculate this tabular data using software and also to display large amounts of data in a clear manner.

The data can also be presented graphically in the spreadsheet. Whether for calculation purposes, to evaluate a company decision or in the area of ​​credit and savings - the spreadsheet is used in many ways.

Dealing with data and numbers has become indispensable thanks to the spreadsheet for entrepreneurs, small investors or for private use of a budget.

Use spreadsheet programs

The spreadsheet is software that is used to enter and process numeric and alphanumeric data (= digits, letters or special characters) that are available in table form. A graphical representation of this data is also possible with a spreadsheet program.

The first software for a spreadsheet was established in 1979 by Dan Bricklin under the name "VisiCalc", whereby for the first time no programming language had to be used to handle the software.

4 years later the Lotus1-2-3 conquered the market. Microsoft, on the other hand, did not develop its own spreadsheet software until 1987: Multiplan and Excel.

Spreadsheet Applications

The spreadsheet has become indispensable in the area of ​​cost calculation, the determination of the optimal sales price or the maximum purchase price.

Companies use the spreadsheet to compare their decisions and evaluate them. Complex dependencies within the company are shown and can be displayed clearly and completely.

Overall economic relationships can also be clearly presented thanks to the spreadsheet. In the private household, the spreadsheet is of great importance when it comes to saving, comparing loans or calculating interest and simplifies the calculation of the required data.

Online spreadsheets

Spreadsheets can also be used without a separate installation of a web browser. You are not tied to a workstation computer, but run on a locally remote server. In most cases, they have a much smaller range of tasks than, for example, the Office application Excel.

However, almost everyone connected to the World Wide Web can use online spreadsheets. This means that users can view and edit documents together despite the spatial separation.


The advantages of a spreadsheet include the ability to visualize complex issues using diagrams and other graphic representations, but can also serve as a template for calculating interest or taxes.

The structuring of the data helps to get immediate access to the essential points of the calculation. Hypothetical scenarios can be simulated quickly and easily using a spreadsheet and can reveal new ways of using data.

The collaboration of several people or working groups via online spreadsheets creates an exchange of information that would otherwise not be possible in such a clearly structured way.

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