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Computer application for organization, analysis, and storage of data in tabular form / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A spreadsheet is a computer application for computation, organization, analysis and storage of data in tabular form.[1][2][3] Spreadsheets were developed as computerized analogs of paper accounting worksheets.[4] The program operates on data entered in cells of a table. Each cell may contain either numeric or text data, or the results of formulas that automatically calculate and display a value based on the contents of other cells. The term spreadsheet may also refer to one such electronic document.[5][6][7]

Example of a spreadsheet holding data about a group of audio tracks.

Spreadsheet users can adjust any stored value and observe the effects on calculated values. This makes the spreadsheet useful for "what-if" analysis since many cases can be rapidly investigated without manual recalculation. Modern spreadsheet software can have multiple interacting sheets and can display data either as text and numerals or in graphical form.

Besides performing basic arithmetic and mathematical functions, modern spreadsheets provide built-in functions for common financial accountancy and statistical operations. Such calculations as net present value or standard deviation can be applied to tabular data with a pre-programmed function in a formula. Spreadsheet programs also provide conditional expressions, functions to convert between text and numbers, and functions that operate on strings of text.

Spreadsheets have replaced paper-based systems throughout the business world. Although they were first developed for accounting or bookkeeping tasks, they now are used extensively in any context where tabular lists are built, sorted, and shared.