What is Excel and what is it for?

Excel is a computer program developed by the company Microsoft and that is part of Office which is an office suite that includes other programs such as Word and PowerPoint.

What is Excel for?

Excel differs from all office programs because it allows us to work with numerical data. With the numbers that we store in Excel we can perform basic arithmetic calculations and we can also apply more complex mathematical functions, or use statistical functions.

Excel makes working with numbers much easier for us and allows us to easily analyze them and generate reports with tools such as graphs and pivot tables.

Excel is a spreadsheet

Excel belongs to the category of computer programs known as . Spreadsheets were developed since the 1960s to simulate paper accounting worksheets and thereby aid in the automation of accounting work.

What is Excel

Electronic spreadsheets have been replacing paper calculation systems, and although initially they were created for accounting tasks, today they are used for a myriad of applications where it is necessary to work with tabular data.

A little history of Excel

In 1982, Microsoft entered the field of electronic spreadsheets with the launch of its product Multiplan. At that time, there were already two competitors that were strongly positioned in the market: SuperCalc of the Sorcim company and VisiCalc VisiCorp company, so it was not an easy task for Microsoft to gain a little market.

As if that were not enough, in 1983, the spreadsheet was launched Lotus 1-2-3 It took everyone by surprise and quickly established itself as the most widely used spreadsheet. Microsoft only observed how the Lotus spreadsheet ranked first, so it put aside its Multiplan product and started working on the first version of Excel which was released in 1985.

That first version of Excel was made exclusively for the Macintosh platform, but two years later, in 1987, Microsoft released Excel 2.0, which it already considered a version for the Windows platform. From then on, the Microsoft spreadsheet began its growth to become the most widely used spreadsheet of all time.

The main Excel screen

The main feature of Excel, as we know it today, is that the main screen shows a two-dimensional matrix, that is, it is made up of Columns and rows. In this way, small boxes are formed that we know as cells, where each of them will have a unique address that will be made up of the column and the row to which it belongs, that is, the address will be a letter (column) and a number (row ). For example, the upper left cell of the matrix has the address A1.

Excel Definition - What is Excel and its meaning

In each of the cells we can enter numeric and alphanumeric data. One way to know if Excel has recognized a data as a number, or as a text, is that if we enter a data of type text, it will be aligned to the left of the cell while numerical data will be aligned to the right.

What is Excel and what is it for?

In this way we know that Excel recognizes between a numeric data and an alphanumeric data in each cell.

Arithmetic operations in Excel

Excel allows us to perform arithmetic calculations with our numerical data such as addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication

and the division (/).  The only condition is that we must place an equal sign (=) preceding the formula so that Excel performs the corresponding calculation.

Formulas in Excel

We can write formulas as large as we need and we only have to respect the maximum characters that is 32,767 in the most recent versions of Excel. reference


. For example, the following formula will make the sum of the values ​​in cells A1 and A2: To learn more about this topic, I recommend you read the article:References in Excel


Excel functions Although we can use arithmetic operators to perform many of our calculations, we can use the excel functions

which are procedures that help us make calculations on our data. We can think of the functions as if they were an Excel assistant to which we will give some numerical data and they will be in charge of performing the calculations and delivering the correct result. An example is the AVERAGE function

To whom we can indicate a series of numerical values ​​and it will return the average of all of them.

What is Excel? Explained in a nutshell Excel functions are cataloged by their functionality and some of those categories areFunctions of searching and referencing , thelogical functions , thetext functions , theDate and time functions

, etc. Formulas Mathematics and trigonometric


Concept and definition of Excel Another alternative to know the categories and their functions is to click on the Functions menu

from this website where you will find the complete list of Excel functions.

Tabular data in Excel

As I mentioned at the beginning, today Excel is used in various disciplines where tabular data is needed. The large number of cells, which make up each of the sheets of an Excel workbook, make it easy for us to organize the data in a tabular way. For this reason, Excel offers us a good number of tools to format our data. Whether we need to format them asExcel table , or that we apply a conditional format or just apply somecell style


Excel is a widely used tool for working with tabular data since we can sort them, filter them, do a search on them, or use advanced tools to analyze said information.

Charts in Excel

One of the reasons that Excel is one of the most popular applications around the world is because of its ability to create graphs based on data.  The fact of having a visual tool greatly facilitates the compression and interpretation of the information, which is why millions of users of the application generate their own reports in Excel.

What is Excel and what is it useful for? Learn to create excel charts Insert Graphics

where you can find all the types of charts available in Excel.

What is Microsoft Excel and what is it for?

Excel names and versions

You will often find literature that refers to the Microsoft spreadsheet by the name of “Excel.” Some others call it by the name “Microsoft Excel” and also as “Office Excel” because it is part of the Office suite. You will also find that it is common to refer to the spreadsheet by its version, for example: “Excel 2003”, “Excel 2007”, “Excel 2010”, etc. If you want to know more about the different versions of Excel, you can consult the article:Excel versions


Why learn to use Excel

The sheer number of tools and commands available within Excel might intimidate any user new to the application, but the reality is that Excel is one of the most widely used applications in the workplace today. And no, Excel is not just an application for accountants and financiers. Excel has become a data processing tool that goes far beyond accounting as it facilitates data handling and processing. on-line

and you will see that mastering Excel is one of the most requested skills. So, now that you know what Excel is, don’t wait any longer and decide to learn how to use this fabulous tool. If you are a new user of Excel, I invite you to consult the excel tutorial

that will help you get started in the use of the most used spreadsheet in the world.

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