Microsoft Excel

From ArticleWorld

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program for Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh. It has reached a great userbase, due to its intuitive interface, graphing tools and aggressive marketing strategies. It has been bundled with Microsoft Office since version 5. Developers tried to make it a powerful program since the beginning, initially intended as a competitor for Lotus 1-2-3.

Microsoft Excel is supposedly the successor of Microsoft's Multiplan, a CP/M spreadsheet program. The first version of Microsoft Excel was released for the Mac, while version 2.0 was launched for Windows too. Excel was initially in the center of a dispute, which is why Microsoft was required to name it "Microsoft Excel" all the time, a practice which was often ignored though. Microsoft did encourage its users to use the term XL, too, but this was rarely used. The interface is largely reminiscent of VisiCalc.


Along with the basic spreadsheet features, Microsoft Excel also includes:

  • Support for generating graphs and diagrams
  • VBA support, allowing scripting with a language largely based on Microsoft's Visual Basic. It also comes with an integrated development environment (IDE) for VBA and the ability to record macros and generate VBA code that performs the recorded actions. VBA has received its share of criticism though, due to the many security risks involved.
  • Support for in-sheet forms and external ActiveX DLLs through VBA's COM capability.


Microsoft Excel is widely used at the moment. It is probably the spreadsheet program with most users worldwide, as a part of a hugely popular office suite. Many tutorials and books are available, too, as well as many VBA code snippets.