# Scratch Section

**Office 2013 and later**

**Last modified: **March 09, 2015

*
Applies to: Office 2013 | Visio 2013*

A work area for entering and testing formulas that can be referred to by other cells.

You can add this section by using the Insert Section dialog box. Right-click in the ShapeSheet window, and then click Insert Section.

The Scratch section is typically used to isolate repeated complex calculations. If your solution has a well-defined purpose, it's wiser to use a cell in the User-Defined Cells section for clarity because User cells can be named.

Cells in the Scratch section use units in two different ways. X and Y cells use drawing units; A through D cells don't use units. (In C programmers' jargon, X and Y cells are "typed," and cells A through D are "void.") The Scratch X and Scratch Y cells are often used for deriving *x-* and *y-*coordinates, such as PinX and PinY, or the X and Y cells found in a Geometry section cell. Scratch cells A through D can display whatever units you specify.

A further difference is the way these cells store point values. A point in Visio is a single data package for an (*x,y*) coordinate. When a formula returns a point value, that value is interpreted in one of three ways, depending on the ShapeSheet cell the formula is in. Cells that relate to *x*-coordinates (for example, PinX, or cells in the X column of a Geometry section) extract just the *x*-coordinate part of a point value. Cells that relate to *y*-coordinates extract just the *y*-coordinate part of a point value.

For example, Visio extracts the formula PNT(3,4) in these three ways.

Cell |
If you enter |
Visio treats it as |
Result |
---|---|---|---|

X |
PNT(3,4) |
PNTX(PNT(3,4)) |
3.0000 in. |

Y |
PNT(3,4) |
PNTY(PNT(3,4)) |
4.0000 in. |

A-D |
PNT(3,4) |
PNT(3,4) |
PNT(3.0000 in., 4.0000 in.) |