Pensolve Blog Build better engineering spreadsheets

Why use Pensolve

Engineers use Pensolve for two reasons

  1. Risk Management
  2. Productivity

Risk Management

Spreadsheets are notorious for containing errors, especially engineering spreadsheets that are used across multiple jobs and edited by multiple people. Engineering spreadsheets are often modified for bespoke cases in a job, and these different versions can result in unknown errors. Although it is efficient to use a spreadsheet across multiple jobs, the stakes are raised if there is an error, as this error can result in court cases across multiple clients.

Pensolve provides users with a transparent view of their spreadsheets by converting them into hand-written calculations. The PDF of the hand-written calculations can then be reviewed and kept as a record of the verification of the accuracy of the spreadsheet.

Pensolve also provides a version detection tool, that allows you to compare project files against the verified master copy. This means that the review of project files can be focused on the inputs and outputs and any changes to the underlying formulas.

Version comparison explainer


Understanding someone else’s spreadsheet is difficult. Especially when people set them up with different layouts. The problem is compounded when the person who built the spreadsheet leaves or is away and cannot explain how it works. Hours of non-billable time are spent deciphering spreadsheets and in some cases re-writing them because they could not be clearly understood.

Pensolve prompts users to set up their spreadsheets according to the engineering spreadsheet protocol. This layout is logical and simple to understand, it is setup to be easy to modify/update your spreadsheet.

The hand-written PDF output is also in a uniform format that makes internal and peer-review far quicker.


Pensolve is a management tool. Increasing levels of staff turnover and increasing levels of reporting mean that spreadsheet based engineering is becoming more difficult and less efficient. Pensolve provides a light-weight workflow guide around how to manage the review and distribution of spreadsheets within your engineering firm.

Check out this two-minute summary video.