Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel (English [ maɪ.kɹoʊ.sɒft ɪksel ], dt mostly [ ɛksl̩ ] or [ ɛksɛl ] ) is the most widely used spreadsheet program.

Excel is part of the Microsoft Office suite and is available for both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS. Excel was created as a successor to Microsoft Multiplan. The current version is for Windows Microsoft Excel 2013 for Mac OS Microsoft Excel 2011.

  • 2.1 user Interface
  • 2.2 cell references
  • 2.3 processing
  • 2.4 Number Formats
  • 2.5 Table Formatting
  • 2.6 database
  • 2.7 programming
  • 2.8 Add-ins


Microsoft Excel was the successor to Microsoft Multiplan and was first introduced in 1985 for the Apple Macintosh as a purely graphically oriented spreadsheet. Was on October 31, 1987, delivered simultaneously with the release of Windows 2.0, Excel 2.0, the first version for IBM-compatible PCs. As of 1989, a Windows 2.11 Runtime version comes bundled with Excel because Windows was still uncommon. There was also a version for the OS / 2 Presentation Manager, which was ported by Windows Libraries for OS / 2 ( WLO ).

The 1990 Microsoft Windows 3.0 introduced Excel 3.0 decreed for the first time on a toolbar and also brought numerous innovations otherwise. Starting in 1994, a 32 -bit version was first available in Excel 5.0 for Windows NT. In Microsoft Office 95 Excel 95 was given the version number 7.0 because version 6 was skipped to achieve a standardization of the designation with the other Office programs. Excel: mac 2001 was the last version for Mac OS 8 and 9

The current version for Windows is Launched in January 2013 Excel 2013, which was released in October 2010 Excel for Intel Macs in 2011.

Version History

Applications and components

Like most spreadsheets Excel allows extensive calculations with formulas and functions, among others, commercial, statistical and date functions. To a lesser extent data can be edited, linked as short texts or logical calculations (if ... then ) to be performed. Depending on contents and values ​​in the table can be accessed content elsewhere in the tables. The results can be evaluated by means of sorting, grouping and filtering and pivot tables and plotted in graphs. Tables, or parts thereof, may be protected from layout or content changes. The minimum requirements to work as a team to tables are given.

The functionality of Excel can be extended by programming in Visual Basic for Applications ( VBA). VBA was introduced with Microsoft Excel 5.0 and later integrated into Word, Access and other Office programs. For Macintosh Excel 2008 did not contain a VBA support, while the predecessor and successor versions offered this. Excel is also using Visual Studio Tools for Office System ( Windows) or AppleScript (Mac) extensible. Excel 4.0 had its own macro language.

User interface

The work area of Excel consists of workbooks that correspond to files from leaves that are displayed in registers, and from cells that contain data. Up to 65,536 worksheets are possible for each workbook. The cells of a spreadsheet are divided into rows and columns and can be accessed via a cell reference system.

Since Excel 2007, a spreadsheet 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns (A to XFD ), and so 17,179,869,184 cells. Before that was the size of 65,536 rows and 256 columns (A to IV ), ie 16,777,216 cells is limited. Is registered in each of these fields a number, a file in Office 2013 a size of 1382.4 MB so in Office 2003 has a size of 227 MB, 1.35 GB.

Each cell can be uniquely identified by a combination of letter and number, cell reference, so-called, which consists of rows and column information. The first cell in the upper left corner is called A1, where A is the first column and 1 is the first line referred and the reference strictly speaking also includes the sheet name as formulas in different sheets and portfolios may have the same reference, such as Sheet1! C4 Sheet3! C4.

Alternatively, used by Microsoft Multiplan and Microsoft Works R1C1 reference style can be set in the program options. A reference such as " B3 " ( the relative 's ) is in the R1C1 style as an absolute reference " Z3S2 ". A reference from "A1" to " B3 " would in R1C1 notation "Z (2) S (1) ' - in words " go from the current cell - in this example, R1C1 - two rows down and one column go to the right. As in the A1- relative and absolute terms can be mixed as a sample such as " Z ( 2) S3 " or " Z3S (-2) ". The R1C1 style lends itself to the introduction, since the difference between absolute and relative terms is easier and faster to explain.

The R1C1 notation is required in the VBA-/VBS-/COM-Programmierung. Here the English terms "R" for Row (row) and "C" for Column ( column) in order to achieve language independence may be used.

Cell references

It can be used as coordinates in tables both relative and absolute cell references. Formulas are the same as values ​​in rows or columns to copy. This approach has been taken over from the predecessor Multiplan. To ensure the copyability of formulas and their implications, it is relative, as A22, absolute, such as $ A $ 22, and mixed as $ A22 or A $ 22 cell references.


In addition to inserting an entire copied to the Clipboard contents of one or more cells, there is the possibility to insert some content, for example, only the values ​​, instead of the formula that has generated these values. It is also possible to add the copied value to the contents of the selected cells, or perform other calculations.

Number formats

For the display of values ​​in a range of formats. In addition to pre-made formats, such as date and time, and special formats for postal codes, custom sizes can be specified. Cells can also contain text in Excel.

Table formatting

Since version 2007 Excel tables can be formatted with predefined or custom -defined table formats. For dependent on the cell content highlights are from this version on any number of conditional formatting, instead of three, are available. Color and font formatting were approximated to Word and PowerPoint and include the same range of colors, from the 12 preferred colors and other formatting can be set as office design.


Excel has a simple database functions. It does not have the functionality of the widely used concept of the relational database. However, it may be accessed via interfaces for data from a database. This functionality presented to Excel version 4 with the same manufacturer's Q A program available since version 5 with Microsoft Query, a query program based on SQL databases through ODBC.


Excel can since version 1.x programmed with the Excel 's XLM language ( hidden today and forget, but is still supported for existing applications ) and for Excel 4.0 with Visual Basic for Applications (VBA ) or Mac OS, with AppleScript can be programmed. On Windows, there is the ability to program in Visual Studio.NET with the Visual Studio Tools for Office System ( VSTO ) add- ins that enhance the functionality, as well as Visual Basic Script (VBS ) on Windows Script Host or Classic ASP. With VBA and XLM language it is possible to program your own functions that perform calculations analogous to the built-in functions and output the result.

The Macintosh version Excel 2008 did not support VBA. Under Windows, there is other programs such as Word, Access, Visual Basic applications or Visual Basic scripts possible to use via the COM or ActiveX interface capabilities of Excel or work directly with Excel.


An add -in is an additional program that is loaded with Excel together and then ready for execution. Some add- ins, such as the solver, are included in Excel already. Users can create their own add- ins and integrate. Through add-ins to automate work with Excel. In the Internet there are many add- ins, often free of charge available.

File Formats

Microsoft Excel from 2007 and 2008 to create files with the file extensions. Xlsx (Excel spreadsheet ) or. Xlsm (Excel spreadsheet with macros). In addition, a variety of file extensions such as. Xlsb ( space-efficient binary format ). Xlam ( Excel Add -ins ). Xltx ( Excel templates ). Xlk ( Excel backups ) and. Xll ( Excel macro library) is used.

Some of the new file formats are based on the open OpenXML based on XML and uses a Zip compression. Excel can not open or import, including those of other spreadsheet and database programs different file formats.

The files created by older versions have the file extension. Xls (Excel Spreadsheet ). Xla (Excel Add- ins) and. Xlt ( Excel templates ). These file formats are based on an open binary format from Microsoft, the Binary Interchange File Format ( BIFF ). However, they are proprietary, in large part because Microsoft did not publish the documentation in all details. A documentation of the file structure from Excel 97 has been released by Microsoft in February 2008, previous detailed analyzes come from the open source community.