The Difference Between Excel Workbook vs. Excel Sheets

Microsoft Excel has proved to be an excellent and powerful small business tool which enables you to orderly store, organize and analyze large chunks of data effectively and efficiently. Although Excel comes with a super easy user interface and is fairly easy to learn, there still exists certain aspects in which many of us lack clarity. Therefore, when it comes to referring to certain elements in your Excel file, most of us tend to stumble due to unclear or misunderstood terminologies. Difference between a worksheet and a workbook is one among those aspects.

Although at the first sight both words may appear to be synonyms, yet in reality, they are entirely different from each other.

Fundamental Difference

The worksheet is single page spreadsheet or page in Excel, where you can write, edit and manipulate data, whereas the collection of such worksheets is referred as a workbook. It is very similar to a single page (worksheet) and a complete book (workbook).

Excel Worksheet

An Excel worksheet is a single spreadsheet that is a matrix of rectangular cells, organized in a tabular form of rows and columns. In totality, it contains 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns, which simply means there are 17,179,869,184 cells in a single page of excel’s spreadsheet where you can write, edit, and manipulate your data. As per the naming convention followed, rows are referred to as natural numbers starting from 0 and columns are referred by alphabet(s) beginning from A. Practically, there is as such no limit of worksheets which you can keep in a workbook. It simply depends on the memory of the system used.

Excel Workbook

An Excel workbook is just like a file or a book, which consists of one or more worksheets, having various sort of related information. It also enables you to create and maintain as many worksheets as required with no defined upper cap. The fundamental objective is to organize relevant data in a single place, but in different categories (worksheet). For instance, if a college were to maintain records of students, various worksheets could be one of student personal information record, one for their attendance, one for their fee deposit information, etc.

Some other differences

  • Establishing a link between two worksheet is much easier than linking two workbooks. Linking workbooks many a times create data security issues.
  • Data manipulation and analysis is only possible with worksheets and not workbooks. The workbook is just a cover page or face of entire data.
  • It is easy to add multiple worksheets in a workbook, where adding a workbook to another workbook isn’t an easy task.
  • Worksheet is just a subset of a workbook.

Well, these are some key difference between Excel’s worksheet and workbook. Hope that now any misconception regarding the two are clarified.

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