Throughout the ages, people have always needed to calculate. Tools such as the abacus were invented by the early Chinese to help keep track of large numbers. About thirty years ago, students only had pen, paper, slide rules and mathematical tables to help them in their mathematics exams. There were no such things as calculators and certainly no personal computers. Calculators eventually became everyday tools and certainly helped to speed up calculations and improve accuracy. Even then, they weren't really good enough to solve complex problems or deal with large amounts of repetitive work. With advancement in technology, spreadsheets were developed.
A spreadsheet is a piece of software which is used to work out calculations. Spreadsheets can do a lot more than simply adding up a column of numbers. Spreadsheets can handle financial calculations for a large business, calculate probability or other statistical information, do complex trigonometry and make colorful graphs and charts. Some examples of these spreadsheets include, Microsoft Excel, VisiCalc, Lotus 1-2-3, MS-DOS spreadsheets and OpenOffice.org Calc.