The many sides of Microsoft Excel
How many of you realize that Excel in its basic form is a two-dimensional bit of software and that human error can be prevented if treating Excel as such?
While Excel can be user-friendly with its ready-made templates and the litany of tools, all that freedom doesn’t mean you’ll always end up with what you want. Remember that it’s two parts that make up this bit of software. The top part which is the screen that you see on your monitor and clicking away here and there, moving this and typing that. And then there’s the background part or behind the curtain where all the mechanisms and settings are allowing you to do that stuff…up to a point that is. Avoid getting a sense of comfort when working on a spreadsheet that if a mistake was about to be made, up pops a message that might say “Hey you there! You might think that cut and paste you just did is a great idea, but sorry to say, it might cost you a trip to the boss’s office, so let’s rethink that plan.”
Many errors can be avoided if you remember that a simple cut and paste won’t destroy your totals if you know that there are times when you need to go behind the curtain and make a change so you will get an accurate reading. Think of it this way, Excel is like a souped up adding machine. An adding machine has switches to move things like decimal points. And what happens when you’re adding numbers with decimals and the total is a nice pretty round number? A switch has to be moved. Excel is the same way. There’s a simple cut and paste and there’s a simple cut and paste that will make you see the errors of your ways. Now it’s time to dust off that old adding machine.
Debbie Wallis and her husband Robert, are owners of AXbean, a guiding light to all things Microsoft Access and Excel. They reside in the central valley area of Sacramento, California between agriculture and government central. When not working, you can see them running about outside, exploring shops, chowing down at all kinds of eateries and whenever possible, being more curious than a cat. Find out more at AXbean.com.