Posted by: Gomzy | January 8, 2007

Spreadsheet Glossary

Source: J-Walk.com

Audit: Annual event where CAs come in and officially point out mathematical errors in your spreadsheets.

Auto-Save: What your spreadsheet does immediately after you make a huge mistake and just before you press Undo. If you have a sound card, you may be able to hear your program laughing at you.

Backup: Many spreadsheet programs will automatically create a backup of your current file. This gives you two copies of the same non-balancing file.

Cell: This is where you spend the rest of your life when your boss has made you spend several nights at the office until a large project is finished. The cell will have bars if you are a type A personality, and will be padded if you are type B.

CIRC: See Circular Reference.

Circular Reference: See CIRC.

Cursor: What one becomes who sits in front of the same spreadsheet that won’t balance for more than 2 hours.

Cut, Copy and Paste: What you do with your printouts to get something intelligible. See Table.

Format: Visual enhancements to spreadsheets to draw attention away from inaccuracies.

Formula: Mathematical equations that display as ERR, DIV/0 or N/A.

Frame: What you do with your first error free spreadsheet. (Contact MENSA if you did this in less than 1 month.)

Goal Seek: When you know the answer (because you did it on your calculator in 10 seconds) but can’t get the spreadsheet to work right. Also known as Backsolve.

GPF: What happens when you finally get your spreadsheet working correctly. But before you’ve had a chance to save it.

Group Mode: The ability to populate a group of worksheets with the same error, saving yourself lots of time.

Import: Ability to get huge amounts of data from an outside source allowing you to create hundreds and thousands of rows of seemingly meaningful data.

Invalid File: Error you get once you have finally perfected your spreadsheet and attempt to load it the next day to print. Only occurs if you don’t do regular backups.

Link: Ability to get erroneous information from a file without actually loading it into memory.

Macro: Automated mistakes, made at the speed of light.
Print Preview: Lets you know if your printout will be Portrait or Landscape. Information on the screen bears no resemblance to what actually prints out.

Solver: Spreadsheet tool usually used by geeks who want to bring their computer’s processor to its knees. No valid data ever obtained, but it makes you feel good that you forced your computer to think for more than half a second.

Sort: Fast method to randomize a column of formula references.
Table: Furniture used to spread out all of your papers and arrange them so they look like what is on the screen. See Cut, Copy and Paste.

Titles, Horizontal: Headings printing on the left margin you wanted at the top of your document.

Titles, Vertical: Headings printing on the top margin you wanted down the left side of your document.

Undo: Feature that enables you to revert from the current spreadsheet with 47 error values to where you were before you made your mistake when you only had 13 errors.

What-If Analysis: The process of automatically generating detailed projections for hundreds of different scenarios – not one of which has a snowball’s chance in hell of being even remotely possible.

Window: Ability to look at multiple pieces of multiple files simultaneously. While this may sound attractive, you must have at least three hands to navigate these windows to successfully build formulas – unless you have a mouse, then you need four hands.

Wizard: Interface enhancements that enable you to create complex and sophisticated errors at unprecedented speeds.

WYSIWYG: What You So Intensely Wish You’d Got

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