What is Microsoft Excel?


What is Microsoft Excel? Microsoft Excel is a powerful electronic spreadsheet (a table or grid arranged in rows and columns) developed by Microsoft and is used to store, organize, manipulate and report on different types of data.

As a visual, here is an example of a blank Excel spreadsheet:

Excel Blank Sheet

As you can see, it's a rectangular table or grid of rows and columns. The horizontal rows are identified by numbers (1,2,3, etc.) and the vertical columns are identified by letters (A,B,C, etc.). Excel is capable of handling up to 256 columns and 65,536 rows. Columns beyond the letter Z (column 26) are identified by two or more letters such as AA, AB, AC, etc.

The intersection between a column and a row is a small rectangular box called a cell. A cell is the basic unit for storing data in the spreadsheet. Because an Excel spreadsheet contains thousands of these cells, each cell is identified by a cell reference or address. The cell reference is a combination of the column letter and the row number such as A3, B6, AA345.

What is Excel used for?

As there are literally thousands of uses for Excel, below is an example of an Excel amortization table:

Excel Amortization Table

And here is an example of an Excel calendar template:

Excel Calendar Template

How about tracking your personal budget in Excel with an Excel budget template:

Excel Budget Template

Or maybe you need an Excel invoice template for a customer invoice for your business:

Excel Invoice Template

The uses are endless!

Automate Excel Tasks with Excel Programming

Many tasks in Excel can be automated through Microsoft Excel Visual Basic. It is based on a programming language called Visual Basic and is most often referred to as Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).

Tedious tasks such as updating multiple Excel files with the same data can be automated using VBA.

Computer Careers with Microsoft Excel Visual Basic

There are many computer programming jobs today that employ VBA within Excel such as banking, accounting, trading, etc. and might be a worthwhile career consideration.

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