Some enable you to create a table of contents or other
types of lists.
Some word processing programs even include
some of the features of a spreadsheet package. While
they may not be as easy to use or as sophisticated, you
can define columns and rows and perform some
arithmetic functions. For example, you could total a
column or calculate total cost of an order by having the
software multiply the number of items by unit cost, and
put the result in another column.
Some word processing programs enable you to set
up records with defined fields. For example, you could
set up a file of records with names and addresses. Lets
say your organization sends a memo each month to the
same list of organizations. Using a feature of the word
processing program, you could create one letter and
have the names and addresses inserted in (merged with)
the letter automatically in the proper places. This is the
same feature the sweepstakes companies use to insert
your name throughout their letters to you to personalize
them. This is sometimes called the mail merge function.
It is unlike the merge function we think of in data
processing in which the records in two or more like files
are sorted in the same sequence by keys and then
merged together into a single file. In mail merge, the
variable information (name, address, and so on) is
inserted in predefined places in a document and the
document is printed.
Some word processing programs include many of
the features of desktop publishing. You can view a
finished document on the screen as it will appear on
paperWYSIWYG (what you see is what you get).
You can scan art and insert it in the document. You can
use a variety of type styles and sizes (fonts) if your
printer can handle them.
Capabilities are continually being added and
combined. You might have several electronic office
tools all rolled up into one packageword processing
with mail merge, database with report capability,
spreadsheet with charting capability, and a
communications package. How is that for an integrated
software package! You will be able to use each tool as a
separate entity, or you can integrate them together to
produce sophisticated reports by combining text,
graphics, and images in relatively complex
multicolumn layouts. These packages will also include
a graphical user interface (GUI) or lists of options
(menus) presented on the screen, rather than having you
memorize numerous computer commands to get the
personal computer (PC) to do what you want.
Simply defined, a spreadsheet electronically
duplicates an accountants or bookkeepers tools, which
normally consist of a ledger pad, a pencil (with an
eraser), and a calculator.
When using spreadsheet
software, you enter and change data (figures of various
types) by typing on a keyboard rather than writing with
a pencil. You are able to view your figures on the
computers monitor rather than having to read a ledger
pad. The data is presented as it would appear on paper,
in rows and columns. Figure 3-3 is an example. Many
everyday tasks can be managed with spreadsheet
The computer can perform a variety of
mathematical calculationsfrom simple addition,
subtraction, multiplication, and division to
trigonometry, and statistical and business calculations.
Before you can understand how a spreadsheet
program works, you must first have an understanding of
what the terms record, column, and data cell mean.
. Record A record is represented by a line (row)
of data items of information on a spreadsheet.
This is the horizontal component of a
Normally, a record contains
information about one particular item or topic,
for example, a person or a piece of equipment.
Spreadsheet rows are usually identified by
numbers (1, 2, 3, and so on).
Figure 3-3.Example of a spreadsheet/worksheet.