A spreadsheet is a computer program comprised of rows and columns that allow the user to keep track of certain information. It looks like a table with individual "cells" where specific information is entered.
Spreadsheets usually keep track of mathematical information such as sales records, inventory, payroll or any other type of data. Although not required, spreadsheets operate on formulas that, when entered correctly, will do the math for the user.
Spreadsheets can be kept for literally any kind of business, or even for a home hobby. The information entered into the spreadsheet does not have to be mathematical in nature. A writer could keep track of the articles she submits by date, client, articles submitted, articles rejected, articles accepted as well as other desired criteria.
Microsoft Excel is a popular spreadsheet that is part of the Microsoft Office software. Although Excel can perform many advanced functions, it is also a good spreadsheet program for beginners. From the moment a user opens the program, he can begin entering information into the cells that make up the spreadsheet.
Suppose you were to enter information into Excel in order to keep track of the online auctions and products you were buying or selling. Not only could Microsoft Excel keep all of the data in one place, you could sort the spreadsheet by date, by auction, or by product to see which products were selling the best. In addition, you could insert a link into the Excel spreadsheet which would allow you instant access to the auction site for which the spreadsheet was detailing.
Microsoft Excel is an extremely flexible spreadsheet application that allows the user tracking ability that would take hours or days to produce by hand.