PerfectXL Explore

Spreadsheet Visualization

Understanding the workings of a spreadsheet is key to correctly interpreting its results. Spreadsheet visualization is an essential feature of PerfectXL Explore. It allows you to create a graphical model of the general flow of information, which also shows of risks, input & output and data & formula flows.

General Spreadsheet Visualization

Which sheets are used primarily as input, and where are a spreadsheet’s conclusions most likely to be found? What external sources are used? Which sheets are hidden, or even very hidden? You can discover all this in PerfectXL’s general (default) spreadsheet visualization; a graphical representation of the information flow through your spreadsheet.

Spreadsheet Visualization // PerfectXL Explore

Spreadsheet Risk Visualization

Spreadsheets are rarely 100% errorfree. And when you’re suspicious of a mistake, you may spend hours on finding it amongst all the data, formulas and constants in your spreadsheet. It’s incredibly useful and timesaving if you know where to look. In the Risks mode of the spreadsheet visualization feature, worksheets are highlighted according to how risky they’ve been marked by PerfectXL Explore’s analysis. When you click on these risky sheets that are indicated risky, the tool will show you the amount of high, medium and low risks which have been detected. The risk detection feature, will show you exactly which risks were found and provide you with possible solutions.

Visualization of the risks in an Excel file // PerfectXL Explore

Input & Output Visualization

The input and output visualization solely shows you which worksheets are used as input, output or both.

Spreadsheet Input & Output Visualization // PerfectXL Explore

Data Count & Formula Flow Visualization

Having an overview of your spreadsheet is useful to understand how it works, but sometimes, you may come across surprising dependencies. A sheet obtaining information from another sheet which you had not expected, for instance. In such cases, it’s useful to know which formulas make up the connection. Luckily, PerfectXL offers the perfect visualization for this, showing also where most of your data resides in your spreadsheet. The amount of references is displayed in the blue dots. Clicking this number will show you the formulas involved.

Visualization of data count & formula flow in Excel files // PerfectXL Explore

  • It’s fast & easy to use
  • Get detailed insights
  • Save frustration and time

Read more about exploring Excel files

On this page you will find a step-by-step walkthrough of the PerfectXL Explore Tool. This page will give you information on how you can use explore to gain a better understanding of complex Excel files.

This is the technical page for PerfectXL Explore. Here you will find information like system requirements, release notes, and answers to most questions about our software. If you have more questions please use the form at the bottom of the page.

In this video we’ll show you how to run a quick basic check of the input sources of your Excel files and how to determine if there is any unknown input. We’ll also show you a powerful way to visualize your spreadsheet’s information flow to help determine the function and dependability of each worksheet.

When we read a book or a report or a website, we read from top to bottom and from left to right. Keep this in mind when you create an Excel file. Try your best to follow that structure both within each worksheet and between them. We advise you to distinguish separate input & output sheets as well as sheets for calculations, documentation and dashboards.

Numbers without meaning are worthless. Excel is a program for numbers, but it is only useful if it is clear to the reader or user what these numbers mean. So, make sure that you provide textual information for all data and formulas, let’s call these pieces of text information labels.

Treat transferring a spreadsheet like you would treat the process of renting your house via Airbnb. Most people realize it will stay neater if you clean it first. Mess stimulates mess, and neatness stimulates neatness. Remember that in an average spreadsheet there will be 12 different users that have to use it after you! What do you think happens when this chain starts with a messy file?

Garbage in, garbage out. So pay serious attention to cleaning your input data as it is the foundation of your spreadsheet and if possible, do it in such a way that it becomes an automated process for the next time you use the same spreadsheet.

Curious to see what your spreadsheet’s all about? PerfectXL Explore gives you a great starting point. An overview of worksheets, input sources and potential risks are all part of our general spreadsheet characteristics section. It also gives you an insight into the amount of formulas used in your spreadsheet.

Be honest with yourself, how much time does it take you to spit through an Excel file? The opportunities in Excel are endless but this comes with a downside. PerfectXL has the solution. Starting now you can gain a better understanding of your spreadsheets, to help you in improving, documenting, and cleaning up your files. Here are 9 tasks that PerfectXL Explore makes easy.