A quick glance at the free templates available for Microsoft Excel, Google Docs, and OpenOffice Calc demonstrates that spreadsheets are useful to users of all skill levels at home and in business. The ease with which raw data can be converted into useful information is an underlying benefit, regardless of how you use them.
Capabilities in calculation and error handling
Spreadsheets’ built-in calculators, formulas, and functions save time and increase mathematical accuracy. Formulas and functions may also be used to alter text strings. You can, for instance, separate the first and last names from a full name or search for and change one word or set of characters in a string with another. When the value of a cell changes, formulas can link to it and instantly update cells in the spreadsheet. If you do make a mistake, the built-in error-handling features will flag the wrong cell value and offer information about it.
Styling and Formatting
Spreadsheets include a variety of presentation and formatting options, which not only improve readability but also enable the data to be used in external reports and presentations. Styling options enable you to alter fonts, font sizes, background and text colors and cell borders to achieve a tidy design. You can define a specific print area and print all or a specific portion of a spreadsheet using the print options. For displaying data in a report or a slideshow presentation, graph and charting options are useful.
Program Compatibility and Connections
Spreadsheets include features that allow you to import and use data, text, and image files from other sources, as well as share data with word processing, email, database, and presentation software. A contact information spreadsheet can be used to generate form letters in a mail merge program or to export spreadsheet data to a database program. Because spreadsheets have multiple save options, you can use them with software from multiple companies. You can, for example, use an Excel spreadsheet in an OpenOffice program and an OpenOffice Calc program in a Microsoft Office program because of the save options.