What is a Spreadsheet?
A spreadsheet or electronic template is a type of digital tool consisting of a document composed of rows and columns in a table , thus forming cells in which alphanumeric information can be entered and put into logical, mathematical or sequential relation. .
Spreadsheets are a computer tool of enormous application and validity in the most diverse fields of human activity in the world today. From administrators, accountants, scientists and inventory managers, even professions less concerned with mathematics take advantage of it and their ability to automate certain operations, such as the ordering of data or combinations of the four main mathematics : sum, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Thus, a spreadsheet is a versatile computer tool, adaptable to different needs, and frequent in office software packages such as Microsoft Office, LibreOffice, OpenOffice, etc.
See also: Office automation .
History of the spreadsheet
The first electronic data sheet was created in 1972 , taking advantage of algorithms already patented a couple of years earlier by Pardo and Landau. His announcement took place in the article Budgeting Models and System Simulation by Richard Mattessich, although the accepted inventor of the spreadsheets as we know them is Dan Bricklin.
According to Bricklin, the idea arose from an extensive chart drawn on a blackboard by a professor at his university, who perceived a wrong calculation almost at the end, had to re-raise it from the beginning, erasing all his hard work. Seeing that, Bricklin imagined the possibility of an interactive spreadsheet in which these tasks were much simpler.
That first spreadsheet was called VisiCalc, and it was extremely important because it drew the attention of the business world and the administration to personal computers (PC) , until then had as a hobby.
What is a spreadsheet for?
A spreadsheet allows a wide variety of functions, such as:
- Enter data in lists or sequences of operations, save them and print them.
- Sort lists and data sets, applying alphabetical or other criteria.
- Apply formulas and formal operations to data sets to obtain results.
- Graph in a different way (cake, bar, etc.) datasets and operations.
- Build automated digital templates.
A couple of examples of a table or spreadsheet can be: