What is Excel?
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What Does Excel Mean
Excel is a software developed and distributed by Microsoft Corp . It is a software that allows you to perform accounting and financial tasks thanks to its functions, specifically developed to help create and work with spreadsheets .
Microsoft's first foray into the world of spreadsheets (which allow you to manipulate numerical data in tables formed by joining rows and columns) took place in 1982 , with the introduction of Multiplan . Three years later the first version of Excel would arrive.
Excel, one of the most popular Microsoft programs.
History of Microsoft Excel
Faced with the demand of a company that already marketed a program under the name of Excel, Microsoft was forced to present its product as Microsoft Excel in all its official communications and legal documents.
Microsoft presented its first version of Office in 1989 , an office suite (a set of programs that are useful in office tasks) that included Excel, Word (a word processor) and PowerPoint (an application for creating multimedia presentations).
Software issues and negatives
Microsoft Excel presented, throughout its history, various problems with the operations performed on the spreadsheet. One of the most important has been the impossibility of working with dates prior to the year 1900, at least using the application's own date format ; One way to get around this hurdle is to create custom fields, with numeric formats, combined with smart formulas that treat them as chronological data.
It should be noted that Excel is a commercial program: you have to pay a license to install it. There are other open source options that can be installed or run free of charge and also allow you to manage spreadsheets, such as OpenOffice.org Calc and Google Docs . Most of these products are compatible with documents created in Excel, but the same is not the case in the opposite direction (Excel is not able to read files created with these programs).
Excel allows you to represent data through graphs.
Other Excel features
One of the strengths of Excel is that it gives its users the ability to customize their spreadsheets by programming their own functions , to carry out specific tasks, adjusted to the needs of each one, and that have not been included in the package original. Broadly, the options are two: create formulas in the same cell of the worksheet in question, or use the module development in Visual Basic.
In the first case, the possibilities are very limited, although this does not mean that they are not sufficient for most users. The main problem lies in the discomfort of writing the code in a cell, without the possibility of using line breaks, tabs or comments, among many other elements typical of a conventional editor. Developing functions in the Excel pseudo-language is unnatural, cumbersome and unintuitive for a programmer, not to mention that various structural limitations make not everything possible .
Combination with Visual Basic
For developers who are looking for very specific objectives, or of a complexity greater than the calculation of an average or a comparison between several data, the solution lies in the use of Visual Basic. It is a language with a relatively high degree of abstraction (which is considerably different from machine language, from the way the processor works) and which, like the one used in Excel, works by events (this means that the user must perform some action to trigger the execution of the program).
That said, the combination of Excel and Visual Basic also has its limitations, and in no way can you exceed the level of customization and precision possible through creating a program from scratch; but it is very efficient and convenient for a small company, which does not want to invest the money and time necessary for the development of its own applications.