A VERY LARGE SPREADSHEET - Should I use Windows or Panes?

Posted on 2011-04-29
Last Modified: 2012-06-22
I have excel 2010 and am working on a very large spreadsheet.  Should I use panes or windows.  What are the advantages of each?
Question by:brothertruffle880
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    I'm not really familiar with Panes.  Is that for the Mac?
    Excel 2010 was re-designed to handle large spreadsheets and has a very well-defined process.
    However, in the migration to the new version, a few minor problems appeared that you may or may not experience.
    You may also consider using Calc, from (and free), which is very closely compatible with Excel 2003 in terms of function (and can be exported very well to Excel 2003 format.)  I did some research on this open-source product last year and was quite impressed considering it non-cost.  I look forward to its compatibility with the 2007/2010 formats.
    LVL 43

    Accepted Solution

    The main difference between panes and windows it synchronous scrolling.

    In panes one above the other they would be scrolling together horizontally and with panes side-by-side they would be scrolling together vertically. Windows do not scroll together. So whichever your application prefers would be the prime criteria for your choice.

    Furthermore Windows can have different sheets displayed in separate windows. Panes show the same worksheet.

    You can play around with sizes of the windows whereas the size of the panes remain tied together.
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    Seems I misunderstood the question.  ss's comment seems to have covered it.
    One more note: you can have 4 panes (2 horizontal and 2 vertical).

    If you need to see separate areas of the same spreadsheet, panes would be the way to go; for different workbooks, set them up as tiled windows if you need to look at both simultaneously.

    Also note that you cannot use panes and freeze parts of a sheet at the same time; if you have that, go with multiple windows.
    LVL 43

    Expert Comment

    by:Saqib Husain, Syed
    Since your spreadsheet is large it might be appropriate to use panes for synchronous scrolling because you might like to have the titles available with the data.

    Another solution, although involving cost, for large spreadsheets is a larger monitor or maybe multiple monitors. If this is a commercial use it may well pay off as it will increase productivity with multiple programs visible in their own monitor or a single program spanning multiple monitors.


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