Excel Sheet Explorer: Turning Shits to Sheets!

What's the story?

Excel was great to me, but just until that cold day in winter! After that day it was so hideous, because of those too many sheets in it! Many sheets and each sheet having lots of formulas referencing the other sheets... Soon I understood that they are not sheets at all, in fact, they are some shits!

I tried to document the complicated hierarchy using Mindjet Mind Manager. It helped, but just for one day. Because after one day, those formulas changed and so, the dependencies between sheets!

So, basically my challenges in using that excel file with too many sheets are these:

  • It is really hard to find a sheet using that tiny bar of sheets.
  • After finding a sheet, it is even harder to understand it, understand how its formulas are related to the other sheets.

What is Sheet explorer?

To tackle these challenges I decide to write a new Add-in for excel like this:

I just started to create an Excel Add-in project in Visual Studio. Using Office.js everything was easy as a pie, just like:

Excel.run(function (ctx) {
            var worksheet = ctx.workbook.worksheets.getItem("Sheet1");
            // Do whatever you want.
            return ctx.sync();

If you are interested , here is a quick overview on Office Add-ins.

Also Excel Sheet Explorer is completely open source, and the source is available here on GitHub.

And thanks to Azure AppService everything deployed to the web in a minute and this is the final look:

Here is the final product. You can easily install it by searching Sheet Explorer in Office Store just like this:

About the author

Mehran Davoudi

A former technology geek! Currently a mentor and software architect, working as a consultant for companies with large scale software development.
Why dvd? Read about me (uɒɹɥəɯ)!

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