Worksheets

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The most common type of sheet is a worksheet, which is what people normally think of when they think of a spreadsheet. Worksheets contain cells, and the cells store data and formulas.

Every Excel 2007 worksheet has 16,384 columns and 1,048,576 rows. You can hide unneeded rows and columns to keep them out of view, but you cannot increase the number of rows or columns.

Note Versions prior to Excel 2007 used the XLS binary format, and worksheets had only 65,536 rows and 256 columns. If you open such a file, Excel 2007 enters "compatibility mode" in order to work with the smaller worksheet grid. To convert such a file to the new format, save it as an XLSX or XLSM file. Then close the workbook and re-open it.

The real value of using multiple worksheets in a workbook is not access to more cells. Rather, multiple worksheets enable you to organize your work better. Back in the old days, when a file comprised a single worksheet, developers wasted a lot of time trying to organize the worksheet to hold their information efficiently. Now you can store information on any number of worksheets and still access it instantly by clicking a sheet tab.

As you know, a worksheet cell can hold a constant value or the result of a formula. The value may be a number, a date, a Boolean value (True or False), or text. Every worksheet also has an invisible drawing layer, which lets you insert graphic objects, such as charts, shapes, SmartArt, UserForm controls, pictures, and other embedded objects.

How Big Is a Worksheet?

It's interesting to stop and think about the actual size of a worksheet. Do the arithmetic (16,384 * 1,048,576), and you'll see that a worksheet has 17,179,869,184 cells. Remember that this is in just one worksheet. A single workbook can hold more than one worksheet.

If you're using a 1024 * 768 video mode with the default row heights and column widths, you can see 15 columns and 25 rows (or 375 cells) at a time - which is about .000002 percent of the entire worksheet. In other words, more than 45 million screens of information reside within a single worksheet.

If you were to enter a single digit into each cell at the relatively rapid clip of one cell per second, it would take you about 545 years, nonstop, to fill up a worksheet. To print the results of your efforts would require more than 40 million sheets of paper - a stack more than a mile high.

As you might suspect, filling an entire workbook with values is not possible. It's not even close to being possible. You would soon run out of memory, and Excel would probably crash._

You have complete control over the column widths and row heights - in fact, you can even hide rows and columns (as well as entire worksheets). You can specify any font size, and you have complete control over colors. Text in a cell can be displayed vertically (or at an angle) and can even be wrapped around to occupy multiple lines.

NEW In the past, Excel was limited to a palette of 56 colors. With Excel 2007, the number of colors is virtually unlimited. In addition, Excel 2007 supports document themes. A single click lets you apply a new theme to a workbook, which can give it an entirely different look.

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