Creating a spreadsheet often requires the use of a program, such as Microsoft Excel or Numbers for Mac. Free software applications are also available.
The two most common software applications used for the creation of spreadsheets are Microsoft Excel, which is usually used for computers running the Windows operating system, and Numbers, developed for Apple products including Macintosh computers such as iMac and MacBook. Free or low-cost alternatives, such as Apache's OpenOffice productivity suite containing the Calc spreadsheet application, can be downloaded on the Internet for offline use. Programs or services like Google Docs work online, allowing users to store the documents "in the cloud" and access them from any computer or device with Internet access.
The process of creating a new spreadsheet depends upon which program or application is being used. In Excel, creating a new spreadsheet is done by opening Excel from the computer's menu and clicking on the "Office" button in the top left corner of the Excel window and choosing "New" from the menu. In Google Drive, clicking on "Create" then choosing the spreadsheet option from the menu will create a blank spreadsheet. For Mac users creating a spreadsheet using the Numbers program, a spreadsheet can be created by first choosing a template from the menu.
Once a new, blank spreadsheet is opened, text and data can be filled in and various formatting options can be selected. Formatting options vary depending upon which program or application is being used. Because each program is different and some programs have multiple versions, it is important to consult the manuals or other documentation for that particular program and version when attempting to perform various tasks.