How Do I Interpret the Spreadsheet Audit Log File

When logging is enabled for a spreadsheet, a variety of information about the changes made to the spreadsheet are stored with the spreadsheet. This logging metadata can be viewed in the Spreadsheet Audit Log Viewer, accessible by selecting View from the Tools � Audit Trail submenu. The information stored for each action is dependent on the nature of the change being made. The following example illustrates how a few of the possible changes are recorded in the log entry table. See Spreadsheet Log Table for a comprehensive record of the possible log entries.

Consider the following log entries:

For this example, we are only concerned with the part of the log entry shown above; however, if we were to scroll to the far left (beginning of the entries), we could see the sequence number, the time stamp, the name of the person who changed the spreadsheet and the computer used to make the changes.

1. The Category field indicates the portion of the spreadsheet that is affected by the change. Changes in the Document category (such as this change) affect the entire document. The first action taken was to enable logging for the spreadsheet. The Old Value of false indicates that logging conditions were not enabled and the New Value of true indicates that they are now enabled.

2. The second change was in the Data category, indicating that the changes were applied to the actual data values. Change 2 involved a data sort. According to the Misc field the data were sorted in ascending order using the text values in variable one and the text values in variable two. The sort effected cases 1 through 50.

3-7. Changes 3-7 were also in the Data category. The entry for change 3 tells us that a cell was changed from PEPSI to COKE. Since the First Case and Last Case fields both contain a 12, we know the change was only made to the 12th case in the data file. Likewise, it was made to the second variable for that case (since First Var and Last Var both contain a 2). Changes 4-7 can be interpreted in a similar way.

8. The eighth change was made to the Headers portion of the spreadsheet. Previously, the Info Box was empty (Old Value is blank). The user added the text: �Sorted by Gender and Advert� to the Info Box.

9. The ninth change effected the structure (or dimension) of the spreadsheet. A new case (number 51) was added. The Misc field indicates the new spreadsheet size 25v by 51c.

10. The tenth entry records a changed cell. A 6 was entered in the third variable for the 51st case.

11. The eleventh change was in the Case Specification category. The Case Name was changed to MEAN case 23-27. Combining this entry with entries 9-10, we can surmise that the mean for variable three was calculated for cases 23-27 and appended to the spreadsheet. (See Statistics of Block Data.)

12-16. We can interpret entries 12 through 16 in a similar way. It appears that the Sum for cases 38-50 were calculated for variable 3 and 4, then appended to the spreadsheet. (See Statistics of Block Data.)

17. The last change was also to the Case Specifications. The Color or Mark by Category option was used to define the case marker symbol and/or case marker color by membership in a specified category.