So far you've learned how to create and format a basic table of data. That's great for getting started, but as power users, professional accountants , and other Excel jockeys quickly learn, some of the most compelling reasons to use Excel involve multiple tables that share information and interact with each other.
For example, say you want to track the performance of your company: you create one table summarizing your firm's yearly sales, another listing expenses, and a third analyzing profitability and making predictions for the coming year. If you create these tables in different spreadsheet files, you have to copy shared information from one location to another, all without misplacing a number or making a mistake. And what's worse , with data scattered in multiple places, you're missing the chance to use some of Excel's niftiest charting and analytical tools. Similarly, if you try cramming a bunch of tables onto the same worksheet page, you can quickly create formatting and cell management problems, as shown in Figure 5-1.
Fortunately, a better solution exists. Excel lets you create spreadsheets with multiple pages of data, each of which can conveniently exchange information with other pages. Each page is called a worksheet , and a collection of one or more worksheets is called a workbook (which is also sometimes called a spreadsheet file ). In this chapter, you'll learn how to manage worksheets and workbooks. You'll also take a look at two more all-purpose Excel features: find and replace (a tool for digging through worksheets in search of specific data) and the spell checker.