Spreadsheet Basic Elements with Purposes and usage in Excel

Purpose and Usage of Spreadsheet

Spreadsheet is a computer program used to enter, analyze, and calculate data for record keeping. It store and presents data in rows and columns. Data can easily be entered, modified and deleted from it. It performs mathematical calculations and projections based on data entered. Common spreadsheet includes analysis, charting, and budgeting, etc.

Purpose of Spreadsheet

Spreadsheets are used in different fields for variety of purposes like accounting, budgeting, charting/graphing, financial analysis and scientific applications, etc.

Spreadsheet is used in:

  • Store and maintain data in a tabular form
  • Manipulate and calculate data by using various functions and formulas
  • Perform complex mathematical calculations
  • Recalculate formula automatically whenever a value is changed or modified
  • Create charts/graphics to represent data
  • Process and displayed needed information by sorting and filtering entries according to established criteria.

Spreadsheet Software—–Excelspreadsheet

Excel is one of the popular and commonly used spreadsheet software. Excel can be used from home to professional level to perform calculations on data, creating mailing lists and creating budgets, etc.

Excel is an electronic spreadsheet program that can be used for sorting, organizing and manipulating data. Excel screen in the form of a rectangular table or grid of rows and columns. The horizontal rows are identified by numbers (1, 2, 3 …) and vertical columns with alphabets (A, B, C or AA, AB, etc.)

Workbook and Worksheet


A workbook is a file created by Excel spreadsheet application. Excel workbook consists of spreadsheet ‘pages’; each of which can include separate data. MS Excel 2007 Workbook is stored with extension ‘.xlsx’. One workbook may contain many worksheets.


Worksheet (also known as a spreadsheet) is a single page in workbook. It is a collection of cells on a single “sheet” where user keeps and manipulates the data. Worksheets in a workbook can be accessed by the sheet tabs located at the left corner of Excel window. By default there are provided in a workbook to enter data. More worksheets can be added as and when required in a workbook.

Basic Elements of Worksheet

The following are the basic elements of a worksheet.Elements of Worksheet

1.      Columns

Columns in a worksheet are arranged vertically. They are identified by alphabets in the columns header from A to Z, AA, AB, AC, to XFD.

2.      Rows

Rows are arranged horizontally in a worksheet. They are identified by numbers in the row header (1, 2, 3, 4…).

3.      Cell

The intersection of rows and column in a worksheet is called cell. Cell is the basic unit in the worksheet where user can enter data, function or formula. The active cell is the cell which is currently selected. It can be identified by the black border around it, or by its cell address in the Name Box. In Fig. C6 cell is active.

4.      Cell Address or Cell Reference

Cell Address or Cell Reference identities the location of a cell or group of cells in the worksheet. It consists of the column of letter and now number that intersect at the cell’s location. Cell references are used in formula, functions, charts, and other Excel commands.

5.      Cell Range

Selecting more than one cell is known as a cell range. Two cell references are used for a range of cells separated by a colon (:) which tells Excel to include all the cells between the start and end points.

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