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Just what exactly is a spreadsheet?

In general terms a spreadsheet is a way to organise and perform calculations on rows and columns of data (text, numbers and dates), plus provides tools to display this data graphically. A spreadsheet is organised as a grid, with Columns labelled A,B,C,D, etc and rows numbered 1,2,3,4,.... This allows us to reference "cells" using the column and row co-ordinates. So, the top left is A1, etc...

MS-Excel 2007: Simple expenses spreadsheet

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Objectives : Introduction to the spreadsheet

By the end of this page you will be able to:

  • Explain what a spreadsheet is
  • Understand basic spreadsheet terms and concepts
    • Cells, rows, columns, blocks


Spreadsheets also allow us to view our data in many ways. In the following example, the bar chart has been created to help us see patterns in the data.

MS-Excel 2007: The basics

Example :Click here to download vmvXL07_Intro01.xls.

Another example of bar charts has been created to help see the average cost, a contractor costs per day as below.


Naming cells, columns, rows and blocks

MS-Excel 2007: Naming ranges

Example :Click here to download vmvXL07_Ranges01.xls.

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  1. What happens to the column labels after Z?
  2. What is the biggest column label?
  3. How many rows can the spreadsheet have?

Moving the cell cursor

Excel 2007: Navigating around the spreadsheet

Spreadsheet:Introduction. (2017). In virtualMV's ( Michael Verhaart ) wiki. Retrieved December 16, 2017, from http://www.virtualmv.com/wiki/index.php?title=Spreadsheet%3AIntroduction    (zotero)