Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Table 2-1. Excel Worksheets Can Hold a Lot of Data but Have Their Lim its
Attribute Limit
Maximum number of scenarios No maximum, but only 251 will be
displayed in a scenario summary
Maximum number of changing cells in a scenario 32
Maximum number of changing cells in Solver
200
One of the most underused capabilities in Excel is the scenario , which lets you define alterna­
tive data sets for a worksheet. As noted in Table 2-1, each scenario can contain up to 32
changes. The advantages of scenarios are that you can define them quickly (by clicking Tools,
Scenarios and using the controls in the Scenario Manager dialog box, shown in Figure 2-1),
and you’re able to switch between alternative data sets without having to create a new
worksheet to contain the speculative data. If you’re creating one new worksheet that contains 12
values, 3 of which change, scenarios probably won’t save you that much time. However, if you
have a broad range of values (and combinations of values) that could change and you don’t
want to keep track of separate worksheets for each possible combination, you can create a
scenario for each combination and switch within the same worksheet.
Figure 2-1. The Scenario Manager dialog box helps you manage and present alternative
data sets.
If you need to create a scenario with more than 32 changes, you should probably ceate a new
worksheet to hold the data.
Cells and Ranges
At the bottom of the organizational hierarchy in Excel is the cell , which is formed by the
intersection of a column and a row in a worksheet. A cell can contain a value or a formula.
By default, Excel displays the result of a formula in its cell, but you can change that setting by
clicking Tools, Options, clicking the View tab, and selecting Formulas. What’s interesting is
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