1-2-3 was released on January 26, 1983, and a for a number years it was the leading spreadsheet for the DOS operating system, but the rise of Microsoft Windows in the personal computer market was accompanied by the rise in Microsoft's competing spreadsheet, Excel, and it gradually usurped the position of 1-2-3.
Lotus 1-2-3 could be programmed using macros and came with a separate program to produce graphs and charts, but this could not then be run at the same time as the spreadsheet. It had keyboard-driven pop-up menus as well as one-key commands, making it fast to operate. Lotus 1-2-3 supported EGA and later VGA graphics. Early versions used the filename extension "WK1".
Lotus 1-2-3 has been the subject of several user interface copyright court cases in the US. Most notably the program Quattro Pro from Borland used the same keyboard commands, prompting Lotus to claim infringement of its copyright on the "look and feel" of its interface.
1-2-3's intended successor, Lotus Symphony, had simultaneous update of spreadsheet, graph and word processor windows, but was short-lived. 1-2-3 migrated to the Windows platform, where it remains available as part of Lotus SmartSuite.