Concept and TerminologiesThe Spreadsheet ProgramDescribe the Spreadsheet ProgramA spreadsheet is an interactive computer application for organization, analysis and storage of data in tabular form. Alternatively referred to as a worksheet, a spreadsheet is a file made of rows and columns that help sort data, arrange data easily, and calculate numerical data. Examples of spreadsheet programs are:

  • Google sheet
  • iWork numbers
  • Libre Office
  • Lotus 1-2-3
  • Lotus Symphony
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Open Office

Today Microsoft Excelis the most popular and widely used spreadsheet program (figure 1)

The Spreadsheet TerminologiesExplain Spreadsheet TerminologyTERMINOLOGIES USED IN SPEADSHEET (EXCEL)

  • Cell – a space created on the spreadsheet / worksheet where a row and column meet
  • Cell Address – the label for a cell made up of the column identifier and the row identifier. Example:A1 = column A, row 1 ,C5 = column C, row 5
  • Cell Address Box- a rectangular box located at the top left corner of the spreadsheet containing the cell address of the current cell
  • Cell Range – a group of cells that are highlighted (selected), or specified for use in a formula. A range includes the first cell address and the last cell address of cells either in a column or down a row. Example: =sum (B4:B10) – identifies all cells in the range from B4 to B10
  • Chart / Graph – a visual representation of selected data. Charts help make the data easier to understand and “see”. Use the Chart icon or hit F11 for the chart feature. Some common chart types to choose from are: pie chart, line, column, bar, line etc.
  • Current Cell – the cell that is active or selected and has a highlighted border
  • Formula – a formula helps you to calculate and analyze data on your worksheet. Formulas contain cell references and mathematical operators (Remember, a function is like a keyword that is part of a formula.

There are 4 steps in creating a formula:

  1. select the cell where you want the result of the formula to appear
  2. key in the calculation / formula = B5*D5.
  3. press Enter to “register” the entry
  • Formula Bar – displays the formula of the selected cell. You may edit here.
  • Function- is a pre-programmed, frequently used calculation. It is used as part of a formula and usually with a specific range of cells. Eg. = Sum (B1:B7) ; = Average (D4:D10) or = Avg (D4:D10) ; = Max (C5:C15);= Min (C5:C15)
  • Labels – Textual information entered onto a worksheet cell. Could be column or row headings (Price, Quantity) or data entries such as student names.
  • Relative Cell Reference – is a cell reference that changes when you copy a formula, or “fill” down a column or across a row. For example, the formula A1+A2+A3 will automatically change to B1+B2+B3 and then to C1+C2+C3 when copied or filled to those cells on the worksheet
  • Value – Numeric information entered onto a worksheet cell. A value is any “raw” / unformatted number you enter, or results from a calculation on the spreadsheet
  • Workbook – contains sheets of different types – such as worksheets and chart sheets. Each Excel file is called a workbook. Each workbook is divided into several sheets, with a tab displayed for each. **Always name your worksheet, simply by highlighting “Sheet 1” and typing new name.
  • Worksheet – consists of rows (across) and columns (down) – like a blank sheet of graph paper. In a spreadsheet application; rows are numbered and columns are labeled A, B, C, D etc. An entire Spreadsheet worksheet could contain 256 columns across and 65,536 rows down.

Outline the Uses of Spreadsheet ProgramOutline the Uses of Spreadsheet ProgramThe list of uses for spreadsheet software is endless. However the following are some of them;

  • Modelling and Planning
  • Household Finance Planning
  • Business Accounts and Budgeting
  • Invoices
  • Wages
  • Predictions / Simulations
  • Calculations e.g. Adding, Subtracting, etc.
  • Break even analysis
  • Statistical analysis
  • Creating Graphs e.g. bar chart, pie chart.
  • Collect data from different sources e.g. phone number, prices.
  • Explore and interpret data in order to draw conclusions for business


  • Spreadsheets are preferable to manual calculation and recording of data for a variety of reasons, one very obvious reason is the unlimited space allowed to the user by the ‘spreadsheet’, hence the name.

Other Advantages Include:

  • Calculations are correct
  • Calculations are completed automatically
  • Information is organized and easy to access
  • Information is easy to edit if a mistake has been made by retyping or using ‘undo’
  • Data can be easily sorted and filtered
  • Data can be quickly analyzed
  • Reports can be made more visual by using charts and graphs

Complete and Continue Starting Ending Spreadsheet ProgramEntering and Editing DataFormatting Data in a worksheetData ManipulationChartsPrinting a WorksheetHelp Facility


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here