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It is analogous to an array of variables in a conventional computer program although certain unchanging values, once entered, could be considered, by the same analogy, constants. In most implementations, many worksheets may be located within a single spreadsheet.
A worksheet is simply a subset of the spreadsheet divided for the sake of clarity. Functionally, the spreadsheet operates as a whole and all cells operate as global variables within the spreadsheet each variable having 'read' access only except its own containing cell.
A cell may contain a value or a formulaor it may simply be left empty. Values[ edit ] A value can be entered from microsoft business planner balance sheet computer keyboard by directly typing into the cell itself.
Alternatively, a value can be based on a formula see belowwhich might perform a calculation, display the current date or time, or retrieve external data such as a stock quote or a database value. The Spreadsheet Value Rule Computer scientist Alan Kay used the term value rule to summarize a spreadsheet's operation: There are no 'side effects' to calculating a formula: There is no natural mechanism for permanently modifying the contents of a cell unless the user manually modifies the cell's contents.
In the context of programming languages, this yields a limited form of first-order functional programming. Some earlier spreadsheets required a manual request to recalculate, since recalculation of large or complex spreadsheets often reduced data entry speed. Many modern spreadsheets still retain this option.
Recalculation generally requires that there are no circular dependencies in a spreadsheet. A dependency graph is a graph that has a vertex for each object to be updated, and an edge connecting two objects whenever one of them needs to be updated earlier than the other.
Dependency graphs without circular dependencies form directed acyclic graphsrepresentations of partial orderings in this case, across a spreadsheet that can be relied upon to give a definite result.
For shared, Web-based spreadsheets, it applies to "immediately" updating cells another user has updated. All dependent cells must be updated also. Locked cell[ edit ] Once entered, selected cells or the entire spreadsheet can optionally be "locked" to prevent accidental overwriting.
Even though individual cells are marked as locked, the spreadsheet data are not protected until the feature is activated in the file preferences.
Data format[ edit ] A cell or range can optionally be defined to specify how the value is displayed. The cell contents are not changed by this format, only the displayed value. Some cell formats such as "numeric" or " currency " can also specify the number of decimal places.
This can allow invalid operations such as doing multiplication on a cell containing a dateresulting in illogical results without an appropriate warning.
Cell formatting[ edit ] Depending on the capability of the spreadsheet application, each cell like its counterpart the "style" in a word processor can be separately formatted using the attributes of either the content point size, color, bold or italic or the cell border thickness, background shading, color.
To aid the readability of a spreadsheet, cell formatting may be conditionally applied to data; for example, a negative number may be displayed in red. A cell's formatting does not typically affect its content and depending on how cells are referenced or copied to other worksheets or applications, the formatting may not be carried with the content.
In most implementations, a cell, or group of cells in a column or row, can be "named" enabling the user to refer to those cells by a name rather than by a grid reference. Names must be unique within the spreadsheet, but when using multiple sheets in a spreadsheet file, an identically named cell range on each sheet can be used if it is distinguished by adding the sheet name.
One reason for this usage is for creating or running macros that repeat a command across many sheets. Another reason is that formulas with named variables are readily checked against the algebra they are intended to implement they resemble Fortran expressions.
Use of named variables and named functions also makes the spreadsheet structure more transparent. Cell reference[ edit ] In place of a named cell, an alternative approach is to use a cell or grid reference. Most cell references indicate another cell in the same spreadsheet, but a cell reference can also refer to a cell in a different sheet within the same spreadsheet, or depending on the implementation to a cell in another spreadsheet entirely, or to a value from a remote application.
A typical cell reference in "A1" style consists of one or two case-insensitive letters to identify the column if there are up to columns: The alternative "R1C1" reference style consists of the letter R, the row number, the letter C, and the column number; relative row or column numbers are indicated by enclosing the number in square brackets.
Most current spreadsheets use the A1 style, some providing the R1C1 style as a compatibility option.Try Microsoft Edge A fast and secure browser that's designed for Windows 10 No thanks Get started. Built on Power BI: Power BI has further enforced Microsoft’s lead in the BI space according to Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant.
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