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Spreadsheet Quality

Spreadsheet Design Concepts Series

Worksheet modularisation 3 (bad)

Most significant spreadsheet based systems will have multiple worksheets. That does not mean they are modular.

Worksheet modularisation

This diagram from a large live model shows the model spread across many many sheets. In this case though there are so many interdependencies that each sheet could not be said to be modular. To understand any one sheet you also need to understand all those it interacts with, and those interactions are complex. this makes the model very difficult to break down and understand in manageable parts.

One important concept is 'flow', the idea that data should flow in one main direction. In the above model there were lots of conceptual circular references. eg the inputs sheet depends on the pricing sheets, and the pricing sheet depends on the input sheet. These may well be unconnected cells, so there is no physical circular reference in the formulas. But from a model comprehension point of view these circular flows need full investigation just to get a basic understanding.


Upcoming Events:

25 January 2012 - UK Excel Developer Conference - London

Products for sale:


Office 2007 FileSearch replacement logo

New information about the missing FileSearch feature in Office 2007 and details of our pragmatic solution (Current price GBP 30.00)


worksheet password remover logo

Instant Excel worksheet protection remover and password recovery (Current price GBP 15.00)

Classic Ribbon Tab

classic ribbon for office 2007 logo

Add Excel 97/2000/2002/2003 compatible menu structure to Excel 2007
(Current Price GBP 10.00)


Products coming soon:

Link Manager

(Find and control external links in Excel Workbooks)

Due by Q1 2111.

XLAnalyst Pro

(Excel VBA based spreadsheet auditing tool)

Due before the end of 2111.

This page was last reviewed on December 21, 2011

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