Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Working With Multiple Sheets
C H A P T E R 7
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Working With Multiple Sheets
A worksheet is a spacious place–16 billion or so cells at your disposal, each one accessible in a flash at
the tap of a keyboard. The Name Box is your Excel—based satnav; type any address therein and the Box
doesn’t tell you how to get there—it takes you there, in a hot second.
But in spite all of that digital terra firma and ease of navigation, Excel gives you more, three
worksheets by default, so you won’t have to feel deprived—not with those 48 billion cells at the ready.
But if even you don’t need 48 billion cells, you might need three—or more—worksheets. Because
while it’s true that virtually all of the work you need to do in a workbook could be accommodated by
one worksheet, sometimes it’s the way data are organized in a workbook that make the multi-sheet
approach a good idea, apart from any need for space.
For example, you may want to draw up a chart, or several charts, in a workbook, and keep them at
arm’s length from the data that gave rise to them (even though by default Excel places a chart on the
same sheet as the contributing data, a decision you may want to override. However, Excel does assign
pivot tables to a new sheet by default, as you’ll see in the next chapter). That’s a presentational
decision, which could be motivated by a wish not to clutter the same sheet with a profusion of numbers
and graphic objects. Or you may have a small business in which you want to earmark
similarlystructured worksheets for each of your employees, with the same kinds of information about each
assigned to the same cells on each sheet. (Remember that each worksheet has the same set of cell
address—they all have an A45 or a LR5421, for example. How these addresses can thus be
distinguished fr om one another is coming up soon.) Or you may want to store very different kinds of
tables and the like on different sheets, should you need to dramatically redesign one of them and not
impact the others. Or put more generally, your workbook may simply look better by placing disparate
data in different sheets. More subtly, keeping a large collection of data on the same sheet could entail
lots of scrolling up, down, and across the sheet, and as a result it might simply be easier to farm out
some data to the upper rows of different sheets.
And even if you do disperse the data across several sheets, you can write formulas that reference
cells on different sheets at the same time, a kind of three-dimensional way of working.
An d i n r e al i ty , I’ v e badl y un de r sol d Exce l ’ s wor kshe e t capabi l i ti e s. If you wi sh, y ou can add
worksheets to a workbook if events require, though on the other hand you can also delete two of the
default three sheets, if you want to downsize your workbook. Finally, if your workbook needs are large,
you can change Excel’s default worksheet allotment, so that every new workbook starts you off with
say, five new sheets.
In fact there’s more to all this. Even before you begin to add more worksheets to your workbook,
you can in effect enlarge the sheets you already hav e —by addi n g col umn s, r ows, an d e v e n a fe w ce l l s
to existing sheets. Let's start by looking at this subject.