Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

2001 Edition
| Editors: Saul I. Gass, Carl M. Harris


  • Donald R. Plane
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-0611-X_984


The electronic spreadsheet is a computer application that displays on a computer screen a worksheet, which is a rectangular grid of numeric and text information. This row and column organization mimics many situations, such as an accountant's worksheet, a teacher's grade book, an invoice, or a scientist's data journal. Through the use of the computer keyboard and pointing device (mouse), the user is able to manipulate the information using mathematical operations, logical operations, and text operations. The worksheet is the foundation for graphs and reports designed to communicate information in a user-friendly manner.

The computer spreadsheet, operating primarily on personal computers, is a serious business tool. It is used for a myriad applications, including simple budgets, cash flow analysis, financial planning, optimizing investments, tracking production, forecasting, facilities analysis, and printing address labels.

VisiCalc, the first personal computer spreadsheet,...

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  1. [1]
    For a full description of contemporary spreadsheets, see the documentation provided with current versions of spreadsheet software. These publishers include: Corel Corporation, publishers of Quattro Pro. Lotus Development Corporation, publishers of 1-2-3. Microsoft Corporation, publishers of Microsoft Excel. Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    For information about spreadsheet add-ins, contact publishers such as Palisade Corporation; Decisioneering, Inc.; Frontline Systems Inc.; and Lindo Systems Inc. Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    Saffo, P. (1989). “Looking at VisiCalc 10 Years Later,” Personal Computing, 13, 233–236.Google Scholar
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    Plane, D.R. (1994). Management Science: A Spreadsheet Approach. Boyd & Fraser, Danvers, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    Winston, W.L. and Albright, S.C. (1997). Practical Management Science: Spreadsheet Modeling and Applications. Duxbury Press, Belmont, California.Google Scholar
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    Ragsdale, C.T. (1998). Spreadsheet Modeling and Decision Analysis: A Practical Introduction to Management Science, South-Western College Publishing, Cincinnati, Ohio.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald R. Plane
    • 1
  1. 1.Rollins CollegeWinter ParkUSA