Lotus 1-2-3

Lotus 1-2-3 is a spreadsheet software from Lotus Development Corporation (now owned by IBM) for Microsoft Windows. The program was created with the slogan " calculates faster than you can say 1-2-3 " advertised.


The first version for the IBM PC was released on January 6, 1983. She ran under DOS and was then essential to the success of the IBM PC in.

Initially, the program still oriented to VisiCalc, has this but ultimately outdated and increased the market leader in the spreadsheets on. With 1-2-3 first cell name and cell areas were introduced.

Mid-1980s was the dominant Lotus 1-2-3 R2 application for spreadsheets on the IBM PC. The successor R3 was also available for OS / 2 and DOS could use expanded memory. Also versions for UNIX derivatives IBM AIX, HP- UX, Sun Solaris or SCO UNIX were available.

As graphical interfaces on the PC became more popular, and the version 1.0 developed versions for OS / 2 Presentation Manager and Windows 1991 for the Macintosh. Was the same time 2.x with the development of Microsoft Windows Microsoft spreadsheet program Microsoft Excel developed and presented together. The associated development lead could not catch up with Lotus, connected to the OEM Microsoft policy was 1-2-3 then replaced by Microsoft Excel as the default program.

1-2-3 is also today still sold in a package with the Lotus SmartSuite and used worldwide. However, since 2002, the development is limited to minor changes and bug fixes.

The competitor Borland also developed a spreadsheet that he alluding to Lotus ' 1-2-3 Quattro Pro: called ( Quattro Italian for " four ").


  • June 1990: Release 1 ( SCO UNIX, SCO XENIX )
  • 25.04.1990: Release 1
  • March 1990: Release 1
  • 27.03.1990: Release 1.0
  • 1991: Release 1.1

File Format

The files created with 1-2-3 get the extension .123 ( in older versions as well. Wks (version 1 ). Wk1. Wk2 (Version 2 ). Wk3 (version 3 ). Wk4 (version 4 ). WK5 (version 5 ) ). Template files ( so called smart master) have the file extension .12 M.

The files are named in 1-2-3 workbooks. A workbook can contain multiple worksheets (tables). A page consists of 256 columns, each of A ( = 1) are referred to IV (256 ) and 65536 lines ( numbered 1 to 65536 ). Thus, in a worksheet are 16,777,216 cells.

The file format itself is proprietary and can not be easily read by other programs. With 1-2-3 you can, however, (eg, Microsoft Excel) Read, edit and save many other file formats.