Microscope by Bennett // PerfectXL Spreadsheet Validation
PerfectXL Explore


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.

  • Incredibly fast
  • Clear visualization
  • Easy to understand

Getting started

To start this PerfectXL Explore walkthrough, go ahead and open the application and either upload your Excel file or drag it into the designated box.

The first thing you see is a visual representation of your Excel file, the lines represent links made between sheets through various references. These connections are often made through formulas, but could also be in pivot tables, graphs or other such objects. All objects found per sheet are also shown through icons under each sheet name.

Visual Representation of your Excel File // PerfectXL Explore

Visual vs List

Wherever it’s possible Explore gives you two ways to view information, either through a visual representation or a list, you can toggle between the two in the top left of the tool. In list modes you will see the information presented in tables, in the visual mode you will see the worksheets based on your selection and how they relate to each other.

List Representation of your Excel File // PerfectXL Explore

View from objects

So far we’ve looked at worksheets (visual & list) but you can also view different objects for the spreadsheet as a whole. You can pull up lists of unique formulas, external references with their location and type, data validation and it’s potential outcomes, VBA code, and a variety of other object types.

Details of your Spreadsheet // PerfectXL Explore

Wholistic understanding

The purpose of the tool is to give you an in depth understanding of how your spreadsheet functions. Use visual overviews of the model to give context to the specific details of the model to understand what each aspect’s purpose is. Dive into the details from a position of understanding and oversight.

Understand how your spreadsheet functions // PerfectXL Explore

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

Read more about exploring 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.

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.

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.

How can PerfectXL help you?

Share your questions with us, we are more than happy to help you. We will get back to you within 48 hours.