In spreadsheet programs, recalculation refers to computing the values of cells in a spreadsheet. Recalculation is necessary whenever you change a formula or enter new data into one or more cells. Depending on the size and complexity of your spreadsheet, recalculation can be a time-consuming process. One criterion for evaluating spreadsheet programs, therefore, is how fast they recalculate.
To make recalculation faster, many spreadsheet programs support minimal recalculation (also called optimal recalculation), in which the program calculates only the values of cells that will change. In addition, some spreadsheets support background recalculation, which allows you to perform other operations while a recalculation is in progress.