The History Of Spreadsheets – Part 2

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Since spreadsheets are among the widely- utilized common computer application software, these came into existence as computerized analogs of paper accounting worksheets. For years, these are being operated on data entered within the cells of the table. There is no limit to what data is to be entered, i.e. it could either be text or numeric. The cells may also contain data as a result of formulas which are being automatically calculated. No matter for what purpose, spreadsheets were first developed throughout the business world to replace paper- based systems and for performing task relating to accounting and bookkeeping. But, today the software with multiple interactive sheets are extensively consumed wherever tabular lists are to be established, prepared and then shared.
As already mentioned in the previous part the beginning to the introduction of this software took place to replace the paper- based system completely, this article would give details about the highlighted names in the history of spreadsheets.


Limited to 255 rows and 63 columns, VisiCalc was the first electronic spreadsheet to enter the market and gain attention. The software that was initially released for Apple II was also for personal computers, considered as killer app as it became the desire of the majority. The software also gave an opportunity to a large number of business people to buy a personal computer.

Lotus 1-2-3

A Spreadsheet introduced after VisiCalc in 1983, Lotus 1- 2- 3- was considered as an integrated solution that handled functionality of database, graphical charts and calculations. The spreadsheet gained the overall market as was introduced when VisiCalc got slow with the entry of IBM. It is now discontinued. It became a part of an unofficial set of three stand- alone office automation product which aimed to establish an entire business platform. It was the first one to launch naming cells, spreadsheet macros and the cell ranges.

The beginning of excel series

The series of Excel began in the year 1985. The first version was introduced for Macintosh that was lately ported to windows. This Microsoft Excel successfully achieved the competitive edge as it was the prime one to utilize GUI (Graphical User Interface) with various other features. Hence, making it easier for most of the people to consume.

Excel 1.0

Introduced in 1985, the journey of Microsoft Excel began that aided people and businesses in transferring data from paperback records to microchips. This was considered as a protective way of storing data. The only lacking it had was that all the data required physical entry.

Excel 2.0

An update in the Microsoft Excel that took place in the year 1987. The software was equipped with 256 columns and 16,384 rows which are considered to be twice the first version.
The updates in the MS Excel continued year on year with launching the 3.0 version in 1990, 4.0 in 1992, 5.0 in 1993 with key feature of VBA language that automated tasks to be done with excel, Excel 95 in 1995, Excel office assistant in 1997, Excel 2000 in the year 2000 and then those that are popular in the business worlds today as well.

Excel 2003

Launched in the year 2003, Excel 2003 was a great support for the XML files. The new version introduced two new features that included the careful listing in a delineated manner within the workbook and secondly allowing the comparison of two workbooks to take place side by side.

Excel 2007

This version of Excel, Excel 2007 was launched in the year 2007. This was considered as a big new version as introduced a number of new features;
• Better formatting as it included the capability to implement the effects to the cells
• Powerful formatting as it included traffic light symbols
• Introduction of the famous ribbon which has ultimately changed the way one access any of the Excel commands. This was added so that more and more users can access distinctive options more intuitively and in a comfortable manner
• Introduction to autocomplete formulae as one would no longer require to make guesses about what functions are called
• Rewritten charts inserts with improved appearance
• Improvement in page layout as it allows addition of header and footer and their edition
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Excel 2010

Excel 2010 was launched in the year 2010 with the capability to support the 64 bit systems. This received not fairly a large update, but corrected the mistakes within Excel 2007. While receiving an update, it added the file menu again to the ribbon, giving people an ability to personalize the ribbon, added miniatures within the cell charts and an introduction of slicers to allow the comparison in the data in the pivot table could take place easily.

Excel 2013

Alongside the introduction of some extra features to be admired, Excel 2013- launched in the year 2013 introduced a metro style interface which worked for the improvement in the memory.
Throughout the updates, it was only the Excel 2007 that received huge updates. On the whole Excel is considered as commonly used application, giving users a power- house of companies, computation and evaluation tool.

Users of spreadsheets

For years, spreadsheets are today being utilized by statisticians, business analysts, financial analysts, automation experts, data operation experts and the general public as their essential computation tool for summarizing the data in one place.
For now after so many updates and launch of versions, it has become difficult to guess what would come the next. Maybe MS Excel allows to store relational databases or may be they would launch a separate app for such a task.

To be continued…