Excel is a spreadsheet application developed by Microsoft for Windows and OS X. It features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).
The program was originally an accessory to the now discontinued Microsoft Works suite of productivity software but later became its own product with version number 97. A version named all-new Excel replaced the pre-existing version in 2007.
The first version of Microsoft Excel was released on May 16, 1985 for Windows and followed later that year with a Macintosh version. It is also available as part of the Microsoft Office suite, bundled with Word which became one of its selling points when it began to compete against other office suites such as the market leader Lotus 123.
Excel’s graphical approach to data manipulation was a significant departure from business spreadsheet software such as VisiCalc which dominated the market at that time. Microsoft has continued to develop Excel and it remains a widely used application in finance, healthcare, education, marketing, engineering and technology industries. In addition to its standard features, Excel has add-ins that provide additional functionality.
Excel is used to create and manage spreadsheets, which are documents containing lists of data. A spreadsheet can contain one or more tables, graphs, charts and pictures. The data in a spreadsheet can be entered manually or it can be imported from other files such as an Excel workbook or a text file.
Spreadsheets can be used to calculate, analyze and graph data. They can also be used to create documents such as invoices, reports and calendars. Excel includes a number of features that make it easy to manage large amounts of data. These include:
- Tables that allow you to organize data in rows and columns
- Formulas that allow you to calculate values using data in other cells
- AutoFill, which allows you to enter a series of data into a table by filling in the first few entries and then Excel will automatically fill in the rest of the table for you
- Sorting and filtering, which allow you to quickly organize your data
- Pivot tables, which allow you to summarize large amounts of data quickly and easily by applying formulas automatically based on the contents of a table.
In addition to its basic features, Excel has other tools that make it an ideal program for advanced use. This infographic covers the most interesting facts about Excel that will blow your mind.
Source: Spreadsheet Daddy