SpreadSheets PAGE (1 of 6)

### Definition

Spreadsheets are computer programs that let you keep track of numeric information that can be organized in a column and row format. A spreadsheet is a form of an Electronic Ledger. A ledger allows one to organize data in a table/matrix arrangement. The first rows and columns are usually used for labels. The data in the interior of the matrix can be static, constant values or derived, computed values. The calculated values are expressed as formulas between the static values and other computed values.

A spreadsheet allows the user to ask What If? (rudimentary simulation) questions. By changing the value of any variable the user can see the effect of the change throughout the entire spreadsheet.

### Cells

• The portion of the spread sheet that holds the data and the information, located at the intersection of rows & columns.
• Cells can contain LABELS, FORMULAS, and VALUES.
• Rows are designated by numbers, and Columns are designated by letters. The first Cell in a worksheet is called A1, the Cell to the right is B1, and the Cell below A1 is A2, etc.
• Label - A text entry into the worksheet that describes other CELLS. Labels are usually located in column A and row 1.
• Formula - is a mathematical expression. The Formula can contain constants and the location of other Cells. An Example: =0.04*A1 The equal sign is needed because the value of the expression is placed on the screen in the cell's location.
• When a Formula is evaluated, the spreadsheet will collect the cells' values in the formula. If a cell referenced in a formula contains a Label, an error is returned. Otherwise, if the cells contain only values, then the formula is evaluated and the answer is placed in the cell containing the formula.