Skip to Main Content
Spreadsheets are among the most widely used programming systems. Unfortunately, there is a high incidence of errors within spreadsheets that are employed for a wide variety of computations. Some of these errors have a huge impact on individuals and organizations. As part of our research on spreadsheets, we have developed several approaches that are targeted at helping end-user programmers prevent, detect, and correct faults within their spreadsheets. In this tutorial, we explain fundamental principles on which spreadsheet tools can be based. We then illustrate how some simple inference mechanisms and visualization techniques that are based on these principles can be derived to detect errors or anomalous areas within spreadsheets. We also introduce a flexible framework for the quick prototype development of such spreadsheet tools and visualizations.