Microsoft Excel is an institution. It was one of the first successful digital spreadsheets. Spreadsheets were in use long before the invention of the computer – existing as financial ledgers on paper. Here are four fascinating facts about Microsoft Excel.
It Has Been the Market Leader for Almost 30 Years
Excel was not always the market leader in spreadsheet software. Until 1993, Lotus 1 – 2 – 3 was the most popular computational tool available to PC users. The release of the innovative Microsoft Excel 5.0 in 1993 was the final nail in the coffin for Lotus 1 – 2 – 3. Excel has not lost its dominant position in the spreadsheet software market since the 5.0 release. It is estimated that 89 percent of businesses use Excel for their book-keeping operations. This is a staggering dominance considering the plurality of the software industry. Being a proficient Excel user is incredibly useful in almost any workplace. If you want to learn about online Excel courses that can level up your skillset, check out Computergaga.com.
Every Spreadsheet Contains a Staggering Number of Cells
Every Excel spreadsheet can contain 17,179,869,184 cells. To put that into context, if it took you 1 second to fill out a single cell, it would take you 545 years to complete the entire spreadsheet. Microsoft has been steadily increasing the maximum size of Excel since the first release of the program. Although there is no chance that a single person would manually fill in an entire spreadsheet, advances in automation have meant that spreadsheets have needed to get bigger and bigger. We live in the age of the data deluge, and there is simply far more to compute than there ever was before.
It Was the First Application to Use a Toolbar
Toolbars are a standard feature on almost all desktop applications that involve parameter editing these days. Excel was the first program that made use of this feature. Toolbars were introduced in 1990.
It Had Some Great Easter Eggs
The developers of some early versions of Microsoft Excel were not content with producing a functional spreadsheet program. There are numerous infamous easter eggs that can be found in various Excel releases.
One of the most legendary easter eggs has to be the ‘Hall of Tortured Souls’. If a user of Excel 95 scrolled down to row 95, highlighted the entire row, pressed the tab key once, clicked on the ? icon and selected “About Microsoft Excel,” pressed Ctrl, Alt and Shift at the same time and used the mouse to click on technical support they would be redirected to a screen that resembled the classic PC game DOOM. Instead of blasting hellspawn, as was the case in the original game, the player could only walk around.
The ‘tortured souls’ were pictures of Excel 95’s developers that could be seen within the fabled hall. Developers would find themselves in plenty of trouble if they tried to hide such an audacious easter egg joke in a modern Microsoft product.