Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Planning a Workbook
Planning a Workbook
Before you begin to enter data into a workbook, you should develop a plan. You can do
this by using a planning analysis sheet , which includes the following questions that help
you think about the workbook’s purpose and how to achieve your desired results:
1. What problems do I want to solve? The answer deﬁ nes the goal or purpose of the
2. What data do I need? The answer deﬁ nes the type of data that you need to collect
and enter into the workbook.
3. What calculations do I need to enter? The answer deﬁ nes the formulas you need to
apply to the data you’ve collected and entered.
4. What form should my solution take? The answer deﬁ nes the appearance of the
workbook content and how it should be presented to others.
Amanda carefully considered these questions and developed the following plan as a
guide for entering data in her workbook:
1. I need to know contact information for each customer, how many DVDs I create for
customers, how much I charge customers, and how much revenue RipCity Digital
2. I need each customer’s name and contact information, the order date, the number
of DVDs created for each customer, and the cost of creating each DVD.
3. I need to calculate the total charge for each order, the total number of DVDs for all
orders, and the total revenue generated from all orders.
4. Customer orders should be placed in a table with each row containing data on a
different customer. Information about each customer should be placed in separate
columns. The last column should contain the total charge for each customer. The
last row should contain the total number of DVDs created and the total revenue
from all customer orders.
Written Communication: Creating Effective Workbooks
Workbooks convey information in written form. As with any writing, the final product creates
an impression and provides an indicator of your interest, knowledge, and attention to detail.
To create the best impression, all workbooks—especially those you intend to share with
others such as coworkers and clients—should be well planned, well organized, and well written.
A well-designed workbook should clearly identify its overall goal and present information in
an organized format. The data it includes should be accurate both in the entered values and
calculated values. Developing an effective workbook includes the following steps:
• Determine the workbook’s purpose, content, and organization before you start.
• Create a list of the sheets used in the workbook, making note of each sheet’s purpose.
• Insert a documentation sheet that describes the workbook’s purpose and organization.
Include the name of the workbook author, the date the workbook was created, and any
additional information that will help others to track the workbook to its source.
• Enter all of the data in the workbook. Add text to indicate what the values represent and,
if possible, where they originated so others can view the source of your data.
• Enter formulas for calculated items rather than entering the calculated values into the
workbook. For more complicated calculations, provide documentation explaining them.
• Test the workbook with a variety of values; edit the data and formulas to correct errors.
• Save the workbook and create a backup copy when the project is completed. Print the
workbook’s contents if you need to provide a hard-copy version to others or for your files.
• Maintain a history of your workbook as it goes through different versions, so that you and
others can quickly see how the workbook has changed during revisions.
By including clearly written documentation, explanatory text, a logical organization, and
accurate data and formulas, you’ll create effective workbooks that others can use easily.