Spreadsheet Style


My writings about spreadsheets, and an idiosyncratic guide to spreadsheets on the web. 

Ray Panko's overview paper describes what we know about spreadsheet errors and presents a taxonomy for thinking about them.

My writings

  • In Excel, Cell Names Spell Speed, Safety (2003)  My article in the Journal of Accountancy about the use of range names in Excel.  It was heavily edited; the original paper contained much more advice.
  • Let CellMaps and TrafficLights Guide Your Spreadsheet Inspections (2004)  Two tools that assist in spreadsheet auditing.  CellMaps provides a graphical high-level view of the captions, inputs, formula copies and dependency relationships in a spreadsheet.  TrafficLights provides a convenient interface for cell-by-cell inspection of a spreadsheet.
  • Finance Lessons From A Roadside Lemonade Stand (2005)  I never really finished this paper, which has an associated Excel spreadsheet, though I have used it twice in training classes for co-workers.  But it discusses time-value-of-money calculations and provides brief introductions to array formulas and writing VBA functions for people unfamiliar with them.
  • How Do You Know Your Spreadsheet Is Right? (2005)  My guide to suggested best-practices for spreadsheet development.
  • Spreadsheet Layout (2006)  The original "How Do You Know Your Spreadsheet Is Right?" paper ducked the question of how to layout a spreadsheet to reduce errors; this paper suggests a set of guidelines that should help.

Web sites