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What is a spreadsheet?


Lina exercises every day. But sometimes she really doesn’t feel like starting.. So to pep herself up, she begins to write down how far she runs on a piece of paper. On Monday she ran 2000 metres.. ..on Tuesday, 1000 metres. And so she continues until Sunday.

Now she wants to see how far she has run in total. Then she has to add up the results. 2000 plus 1000 plus all the other days, it’s ... ..15300 metres. Next, she starts drawing a bar graph with a pencil and ruler. This is taking forever.

Can't anyone else do this for me? - Leeeoon! But Lina, there are programs or apps that can do all this. This is what the program looks like: It is divided into small boxes, cells. In the top left cell, Lina writes ‘Day’. Then she writes each day of the week in the cells below.

Monday.. Tuesday, Wednesday, and so on all the way to Sunday. At the top of the column to the right of the days, she writes "Metres". Then she transfers all the numbers from the paper, to the cells. Now the cells each have a value.

And they also have names! On the first row of cells it says A, B, C and so on in alphabetical order. And on the far left, each row is numbered from top to bottom. One, two, three and so on in numerical order. So now each cell has a name with a letter and a number.

For example, Monday's result is in column B and row 2 - the cell B2. Here in cell B9, Lina wants the total result of all the values from the week. She starts by typing an equals sign in cell B9. And now Lina uses the names of the cells to tell the program what calculation to do. She uses all the values in column B, from row 2 to 8 and places a plus sign in between.

B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7 and B8. Cell B9 shows how far she has run over the whole week, 15300 metres. That matches what she calculated on paper. A program that is divided into cells, where you can do calculations within the cells, is called a spreadsheet program. The spreadsheet can also draw diagrams.

Lina highlights all the days and distances. Then she selects the tool that creates a graph. She gets a suggestion of a bar graph. Here, the distances for Monday through Sunday are shown in clear bars. We can see that Lina ran the farthest on Sunday..

She can easily change the graph type. This line graph shows that her results trend upwards. When Lina uses a spreadsheet, she can easily enter new results, make calculations, and draw diagrams with a few clicks. And this line is pointing upwards! I can run farther and farther..

Next week it will reach even higher! What do you want? Go away! I’m exercising!