Why I Love Spreadsheets

You’re probably thinking that it is not at all strange that someone who owns a company called Spreadsheet Solutions has written a post about why they love spreadsheets, but I wish to explain why I love them. I mean, what is so exciting about a bunch of columns with numbers in them, and something which involves doing maths? It sounds like something that accountants would use, and you wouldn’t usually pick accountants as the life of the party!

Now first of all, let me say that I know a few accountants and they actually can be the life of the party, so you should never judge a book by its cover (so to speak). Anyway down to business now. The first reason why I like spreadsheets is because of their versatility. People usually use them very basically and have a few columns with some numbers. This is not even remotely testing what Excel can do. You are able to change the colours of the cells, the font colours and types, the border types and colours, even use some conditional formatting in order to change the colour based on the value of the cell. You are also able to combine cells. This helps you to get away from restrictive columns, as you can combine headers for example, thus allowing you to have two columns with one header. Combining cells also enables you to have one large cell in amongst smaller ones, this opens up all sorts of possibilities. People think that Excel is restrictive, yet with functions as I have mentioned here already, it can be shaped into just about any format or colour!

Excel works on logic, and I am very logical. If you want Excel to do something, and you know how to show that using maths, you can ‘explain’ to Excel how to do it. Excel has functions which are very handy, but combining functions and adding in some maths, means that you can do just about anything you want! Yes, it has its limits, but it is usually limited more by the user’s capabilities than those of Excel. I have been using it for years and I use it for a living, and there are still some functions that I have never used. Every time Microsoft release a new version, it has new features to learn. Open Office and the other spreadsheet platforms then follow suit. All of these functions and equations are very useful in business and can help you to keep on top of all of your business concerns with their help. I have written various articles about issues that Excel has solved, so have a look through the articles and see what I have to say. Even if there is not a function or formula, you still have macros at your disposal, but that is a another topic for another article.

Excel is very interactive, believe it or not. You can put links in it to other documents or websites. This means that if you save your spreadsheet as a PDF (to send to a client for example), the links that you have in the spreadsheet will stay in place! So, for example, when your client clicks on your company logo they go through to your website! This is extremely handy when using a spreadsheet or PDF file created from a spreadsheet, to link to any external document or website, even other places or sheets in the same document.

Excel also has various other media at your disposal such as graphs, charts, tables, pictures, illustrations and flow charts, all of which are incredibly useful. Using these functions will not only help you to create a unique document, but it opens up endless possibilities to show off your work, or to truly capture the information that you require. There are plenty of different options when it comes to graphs, with a wide selection of choice, in fact you can even combine them for interesting effects. I have also discovered how to embed a Youtube video in an Excel document, that will open up some possibilities!

I have only mentioned a few functions here, there are so many more to mention, cell formatting, text wrapping, filters and backgrounds just to name a few. The options in Excel are endless! This is why I started Spreadsheet Solutions, I love using Excel and wish to use it to help as many companies as possible! Excel is one program that can be moulded to do a variety of tasks and cover so many company functions, a one stop business software shop, if you will. It helps you to create useful software that is not only functional but attractive, it allows you to have a certain design ‘flair’ while still being productive. If you realise that Excel will be beneficial to your business, please contact us and let us know what your requirements are so that we can help. If you choose to do it by yourself, we wish you all the best. Enjoy using Excel, we know how much it can help!

Richard Sumner