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SuperCalc 5.1 for MS-DOS.
SuperCalc 5.1 for MS-DOS.
Initial release1981; 38 years ago (1981)
Stable release
Operating systemCP/M; MS-DOS; VMS

SuperCalc is a CP/M-80 spreadsheet application published by Sorcim in 1981. VisiCalc was the first spreadsheet program but its release for the CP/M operating system ran only on the HP-125, Sharp MZ80, and the Sony SMC-70. SuperCalc was created to fill that void and market opportunity. Alongside WordStar, it was one of the CP/M applications bundled with the Osborne 1 portable computer. It quickly became popular[citation needed] and was ported to MS-DOS in 1982.

An improvement over VisiCalc (though using much the same command structure using the slash key), SuperCalc was one of the first spreadsheet programs capable of iteratively solving circular references (cells that depend on each other's results). It would be over 10 years after the introduction of SuperCalc before this feature was implemented in Microsoft Excel, although in Lotus 1-2-3, manual programming of iterative logic could also be used to solve this issue. According to the SuperCalc product manager, iterative calculations were added when Sorcim changed from binary-coded decimal to binary math. Since the precision of the two math packages was different, some IF statements resolved differently, and iterative calculations helped solve this problem.[1]

Versions of SuperCalc were later released for the Apple II, for PCs running MS-DOS, and, after Sorcim was bought by CA Technologies (CA) in the mid-1980s, for Microsoft Windows (under the name CA-SuperCalc). The MS-DOS versions were more popular with many users than the market-leading Lotus 1-2-3, because it was distributed without copy protection,[2] as well as being priced lower.

By the release of version 3 in March 1987, a million users were claimed.[3] New versions were published into the early 1990s, after which Microsoft Excel dominated the spreadsheet market.


  1. ^ Wally Feigenson's Blog Archived October 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "SuperCalc 4 Is Serious Competition for Lotus 1-2-3". Google Books. Infoworld Magazine. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
  3. ^ C+VG magazine "Extra Bits", issue 65, page 96[dead link]