23. Worksheet Collaboration
When Microsoft first created Excel, the personal computer was a piece of stand-alone hardware, capable of some remarkable feats but cut off from the rest of the world. Today, with local networks and the ever-growing Internet, you have the ability to share information, exchange ideas, and collaborate on projects with a large group of friends or a team of co-workers . Excel joins the party with a set of three useful collaboration features that lets groups of people work together to edit spreadsheets. Specifically, you can:
Add comments . Excel's comments feature lets you insert questions, suggestions, or other miscellaneous notes that point to specific cells (like "This number's wrong" or "Please boost the sales estimate so we can impress the boss"). The person who created the spreadsheet can respond to these comments by modifying the data accordingly .
Track changes . Change tracking is the real muscle in Excel collaboration. Change tracking lets you keep track of the edits made by multiple people. You can then choose to apply or reject some or all of the changes. If multiple people make changes to different copies of the same document, you can even merge all their changes back into the original file in one step, saving countless headaches .
Protect your spreadsheets . In Chapter 22, you learned how to lock down worksheets so people can make changes only in specific cells. This feature is handy when you're sharing workbooks and you want to make sure no one futzes with your masterpiece.
In this chapter, you'll take a close look at comments and change tracking. (For a refresher on worksheet protection, see Chapter 22.) Finally, you'll consider an even more radical (and risky) propositionallowing multiple people to change the same workbook simultaneously !