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Chapter 4. Worksheet Design Tips > Have You Allowed Room to Insert New Rows and...

Have You Allowed Room to Insert New Rows and Columns?

It's critical to allow for expansion and editing after your worksheet is assembled. It's generally a good idea to add a few extra rows and columns to the detail area and to keep totals separated from the detail data by a row or column or two, if possible. One of the most common editing actions you'll perform is inserting new rows and columns. Excel has gotten a lot smarter about this over the years, making obsolete some of the rules of thumb that we oldtimers have collected. But it's still possible to mess up.

There's a rather famous folkloric tale about an accounting person who inserted a row at the bottom of a range of cells but forgot to adjust the totals formulas and was fired because his numbers were $200,000 off. The moral: Edit worksheets carefully and audit yourself ruthlessly, especially if your job is on the line.

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