How to perform bulk formulas in bulk record sets Excel sheet?

Formulas

Excel offers various formulas to manipulate data in a sheet. Sometime it goes difficult when data grows and bulk formulas are used in the sheet. There are countless issues occurs when data grows in a sheet having lots of formulas.

Issues

  1. Slow processing
  2. Excel Crash or unresponsive
  3. Slow calculation updates
  4. Single change cause excel goes in processing mode and user is stucked
  5. Slow file opening
  6. Too much time to save file

Precautions

  1. Avoid volatile functions as listed below because volatile functions attract penalty on each change made in a cell or sheet cause recalculation:
    1. Index
    2. Now
    3. Today
    4. RANDBETWEEN
    5. OFFSET
    6. INDIRECT
  2. Keep auto calculation mode to MANUAL while dealing with large data set with too many formulas

Example

Consider you have a sheet having more than 5-6 Lac records with various formulas including volatile formulas cause Excel slow. How to make safe calculations to avoid any unexpected loss and perform safe calculations over data?

Steps

  1. Put auto calculation mode to Manual mode (refer various calculation mode in Excel)
  2. Make necessary changes in the sheet
  3. Select one or two rows and Calculate Row Major Order to make sure your change is meeting the exceptions.
  4. If step 3 is OK then you can turn on Manual Calculation mode off or Refresh Sheet by hitting Calculate Now button

Note: Above recommendations are based on experience to share with people as best practice. Reader might have slightly different or completely different situation with the data he is dealing with and it may not work.

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