Spreadsheet tools

One big one? or lots of small ones?

Take auditing or reviewing for example (thats _actual_ reviewing, not whatever Microsoft thinks its solving with the pointless ‘reviewing’ toolbar) theres a bunch of common tasks:

  • count precedents
  • count dependents
  • map data types
  • List unique formulas
  • map dependencies
  • etc etc

My question is this, would you prefer a fairly complex, but comprehensive tool (add-in) that did all of them. Or a set of half a dozen smaller ones that you load/unload as required? I guess tools like PUP do both, but I’m thinking more at the UI level.

If the functionality is used often together, then a single tool makes sense. But I have lots of little ones I just load, run and close (well, find it first of course ;-)) I don’t like having my UI cluttered up with tons of stuff I’m not going to use in the near future. (like a big daft COPY/PASTE button for example, tee hee). And I’m quite happy to need a bit more effort to find and open stuff as a trade off for cleaner UI. What about you?

Whats your approach or preference?



3 Responses to “Spreadsheet tools”

  1. Stephen Bullen Says:

    Small ones – but bespoke ones that do what *I* want to do, not what some addin developer thinks I might want to do. For example, when I’m reviewing a workbook, I don’t do any of the ‘common tasks’ you listed. Those are all far too granular and leave you inundated with tons of data but no information as to the intent of the workbook.

  2. Dennis Wallentin Says:

    Dedicated tools, i.e. tools that perform one task.

    Kind regards,

  3. Al Gill Says:

    ‘fraid I’m a horses for courses man too. There are probably some broad classes of tools – eg spreadsheet auditing tools, tools for building monte carlos, tools for helping document code…..but I really do like the fact that I can (usually) find a tool that was designed for the specific job I have in mind.

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