Financial Budget Spreadsheet
If not done it can be confusing for the end user and also becomes harder to maintain the spreadsheet. This separation might involve using separate worksheets or just ensuring a clear distinction between the two areas on the one worksheet. 5/ KISS Too much information on one worksheet can be overwhelming and generally simpler is better. The spreadsheet mentioned at the start of this article could have been improved by spreading information over other worksheets. Other ways to achieve a simpler look are: - Using charts to convey information rather than tables of data. - Increasing the row height so that the worksheet is not too dense with data. - Shading every second row on a worksheet with a light colour where there are lots of numbers. 6/ Consider the Normal Flow of a Document The usual way to read a book newspaper or just text on screen is left to right and top to bottom.
Cell Options If you look under the "Format Cells" menu that appears when you right-click on a cell or selected cells you ll see a multitude of choices as far as borders colors patterns and number options for your cells. Borders should be used to contain your data within the cells and provide nice straight lines for your readers to follow. You can emphasize headings with thicker point borders or even dashed or dotted lines. Try to remain consistent throughout your spreadsheet. If all of the headings have a three point border than continue that throughout the document.
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The end result was that I just did not want to use this particular spreadsheet despite its useful calculations. So what could have been done to make it better? Here are 7 tips that will help you create more user-friendly spreadsheets. 1/ Consider the End User Who is going to use the spreadsheet? Are they knowledgeable about Excel? Are they knowledgeable about the contents of the spreadsheet? The answers to these questions will determine the layout security issues the amount of help provided and possibly the formatting. 2/ Get the Layout Right Often it helps to put pen to paper and sketch the rough layout of a spreadsheet beforehand.
It is easier to change things at this stage than when the spreadsheet is well underway. 3/ Provide Adequate Help There are lots of ways to provide help. It could be a heading or title that describes what the spreadsheet is or does a comment in a cell information that is associated with data validation information in a text box a separate worksheet or even separate documentation. The amount of help provided will be determined by how intuitive to use the spreadsheet is and also by the answer to that first question Who is going to use the spreadsheet? 4/ Separate Data Entry from Results Areas of the spreadsheet for data entry should be kept separate from the areas that provide results of calculations.