VisiCalc Returns! Tribute to VisiCalc inside Google Sheets made with Apps Script

Let’s jump off the new tech bandwagon and use 40 year old technology. VisiCalc, arguably the first spreadsheet software, is now available inside of Google Sheets. Just like it was installed on an Apple II. Enjoy the 80’s era, Chiptune-esque, 8 bit-ish VisiCalc emulator inside of Google Sheets.

For those not around in 1979 VisiCalc was the first spreadsheet computer program for PCs. There is a great Wikipedia article with information about VisiCalc which highlights:

VisiCalc is one of the earliest examples of metaphor-driven user interface design, due to its resemblance with paper spreadsheets. Compared to paper spreadsheets, VisiCalc freed users to change numbers without having to recalculate the whole spreadsheet by hand, which, according to Steven Levy, “changed the perception of a spreadsheet from a document of hard costs into a modelling tool by which one tested business scenarios”.

Andrew Kamphey at Better Sheets has faithfully recreated a number of features from VisiCalc in Google Sheets. You can find out more about VisiCalc 2023 on its Product Hunt page or make a copy from

Having a play with VisiCalc 2023 my immediate thought is why doesn’t Google Sheets have a native dark mode on desktop devices. Just one of the many things they got right is 1979. Andrew has included some other lovely touches including a product serial number (remember to keep this in a safe place), and a print command.

If you are on Twitter and would like to share your VisiCalc memories or reflections headover to this thread.

Source: VisiCalc 2023 – Tribute to Visicalc inside of Google Sheets | Product Hunt

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