What Does Cell Mean?

A cell is an area on a spreadsheet where data can be entered. Each cell acts as an individual entity in the spreadsheet. Cells are boxes formed by the intersection of vertical and horizontal lines that divide the spreadsheet into columns and rows.


Cells can support various kinds of data types ranging from numeric, alphanumeric, string and formulas. The individuality of a cell is defined by the cell number and the letter of the alphabet at the point of intersection.

Techopedia Explains Cell

In a typical spreadsheet, columns are labeled by letters of the alphabet, while the rows are numbered. Therefore, the first cell of the spreadsheet is A1, where "A" is the column name and "1" is the row name.

Spreadsheets have a never-ending number of rows and columns, which allows cells to be created as the input data increases. The date entered by the user in the cells are static, but become dynamic when formulas are used.

Cells support absolute cell referencing, which allows them to be invoked individually using their cell column name and row number appended with a "$" sign.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.