The worst excel thing you have ever seen?

I am not much of a excel guy but I received some model and in one of the rows the cells have 4 levels deep of IFs, it is a =if( ;if(; if(; if)))) . It also calls cells on multiple sheets, formula takes almost full screen width… it is almost as if he wants no one to figure out what is going on wtf

is this common now?

Oh geez that’s nothing. I write width of screen x 30 lines. Massive financial formulas referencing a dozen tabs.

This is where people should step back and say, you know, I should really take this opportunity to learn VBA.

filters are great!

Never VBA, never special plugins, flat Excel all the way! :+1:


Worst (or best, depending on how you look at it) thing I’ve seen = someone using a screenshot of an Excel spreadsheet as their screensaver, so as to create the appearance that they are hard at work when they’re actually away from the computer carousing about the city.

just do a vlookup bro


Index Match superior to vlookup I believe.

If you do actual modeling in excel, this sounds pretty common. Sounds like a sloppy formula, but it’s not bad. Excel has formula tools to analyze how a formula is working.

It is bad because readability = maintainability. A more extreme example the guy would put revenues on line 1 and then do a cluster fuck formula that reads the whole assumptions sheet does all calculations and spits out free cash flow per period, a note on next line should say “good luck modifying this bad boy”

Yes, which is why I called it sloppy. I prefer to break formulas into multiple places to make it easier for someone to follow, but sometimes this isn’t realistic. That’s what the excel formula tools are for. If people don’t know how to use those to read formulas, is it the authors fault?

At the very least, he should have used some line breaks in the formula to make it more readable.

A lot of the “Spaghetti code” stuff I’ve seen happens because people don’t think about the end result they’re looking for when they design the sheet. Sometimes they’re given a crappy model and have to keep patching it. But more likely, they just keep wandering around and things get progressively more convoluted.

You know, it’s been said before on this site, but bad formatting is distracting.