CP008: 6 Tips to handle workbooks made by someone else, #4 is something I struggle with too!
In the 8th session of Chandoo.org podcast, lets tackle inheritance problem.
What is in this session?
Here is a problem we all face once in a while. We inherit this bulky, bloated, leaking at the edges workbook from a colleague. Now the onus of maintaining it is on us. The person who made this workbook is nowhere to be found. May be she is vacationing in Hawaii sipping pineapple juice. May be he became a vice president and roaming the country in your company’s private jet.
So what do we do? How do we handle this inheritance?
That is the topic of our podcast, episode 8.
In this podcast, you will learn,
- An overview of the inheritance problem
- 6 Tips to understand workbooks made by someone else
- Tip 0: Talk to the creator
- Tip 1: Model the workbook on paper
- Tip 2: Locate the engine, ie the formulas
- Tip 3: See what else is under the hood – hidden sheets, names, VBA code
- Tip 4: Annotate (add comments) as you learn
- Tip 5: Locate the controls – inputs, assumptions, scenarios
- Tip 6: Re-construct from scratch
- Deep dive in to understanding the formulas
- Deep dive in to understanding VBA code
Go ahead and listen to the show
Links & Resources mentioned in this session:
- CTRL + ` to show / hide formulas
- F9 key to evaluate portions of a long formula
- F5 followed by ALT S and then F – Go to Special & Highlight formulas
- Shift + F2 – insert a comment in a cell
- CTRL + G – turn on / off immediate window in Visual Basic Editor (VBE)
- Hover mouse pointer on a variable in break-mode to see its value
- Related: Important Excel Keyboard Shortcuts
Important Excel Functions to learn
- Excel Lookup functions – Podcast, detailed article, recommended eBook
- Excel Sum functions – Podcast, SUMIFS, SUMPRODUCT
VBA Code concepts
- Introduction to VBA (5 part crash course)
- Excel VBA – tips, tutorials, examples & information
- VBA Classes – learn VBA online
Transcript of this session:
How do you handle workbooks made by others?
In corporate environment, inevitably, we all end up hauling others work. In this podcast, I have shared the techniques and ideas I frequently use to handle such workbooks.
What about you? Do you take over workbooks made by others? How to handle them? What tricks and techniques you apply to demystify the complexities of these files? Please share your thoughts in comments.
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My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.
Thank you and see you around.
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