If your worksheet or workbook needs to go beyond simple calculations, Microsoft Office Excel 2003 offers several tools to help you create more specialized projects. With Excel, you can perform "what if" analysis using several different methods to get the results you want.
You can customize Excel by automating frequently performed tasks and keystrokes using macros. A macro records a series of tasks and keystrokes so you don't have to repeat them each time. Once a macro is recorded, you can run it, make modifications to it, add comments so other users will understand its purpose, and test it to make sure it runs correctly. Excel also includes a variety of add-ins ”programs that provide added functionality ”to increase your efficiency. Some of these supplemental programs are useful to almost anyone using Excel. Others, such as the Analysis ToolPak, add customized features, functions, or commands specific to use in financial, statistical, and other highly specialized fields. The purpose of each of these customization features is the same ”to make Excel even easier to use and to enable you to accomplish more with less effort.
Microsoft Office includes a free trial for Information Rights Management (IRM) software that allows you to restrict access to your workbooks. This software, coupled with the password protection feature in Excel, can greatly increase the amount of protection needed for some of your more sensitive worksheets and workbooks. Digital signatures and file encryption go the extra mile in making sure that your data is not tampered with, nor seen by unauthorized users.