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Chapter 4. Worksheet Design Tips > Do You Need More Than One Worksheet?

Do You Need More Than One Worksheet?

Spreadsheet programs began as a better way to store, present, and interpret information that previously had been kept on paper and calculated by hand, probably using a 10-key calculator. Often the first sheets we created when we were climbing the old Excel learning curve were little more than clean two-dimensional reproductions of what we used to do on paper. One way to step up from the old paper paradigm is to use modular design. Modular design is a sort of “structured programming” or “object oriented” approach, where you carve your data into logical chunks that make sense as stand-alone elements. (The other design approach is called hierarchical, which is organized for error identification and maximum readability.) Since there's usually no need to keep detail data in any kind of presentable format, why bother? Concentrate your worksheet beautification program on the summary sheets and charts that you will share with others. Design a system of worksheets rather than trying to get everything on a single worksheet. Figure 4-6 shows a rudimentary example of modular design—that is, there is one sheet for data and another for a specific type of analysis. In a complex modular system, you might have dozens of sheets, each dedicated to a specific task.

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