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The use of color in your spreadsheet is an extremely important consideration. Color can help emphasize particularly important data and separate it from the rest of your information. Spreadsheets that feature a lot of accounting data often use red to show failing areas and green to signify profiting ones. Choose your color schemes wisely as you do not want to obscure the data presented in the cells. Black type on a dark burgundy background would not make for easy reading just as white type on a fuscia background would not make for a pleasant experience either. Try pastels as they are easier on the eyes and allow for an easy read.
Patterns are good to use if you want to identify an area as defunct or currently not in use. Some use a strikeout on the information already there but a pattern can leave the information fairly easy to read but at the same time provide a kind of "construction area" type look to signify that this information is not currently in use on the spreadsheet. The number options refer to the type of information you re placing in the cell. If you tell Excel that you are entering currency numbers then it will automatically add the dollar sign (or others if using a different currency) and decimal point as you enter numbers.
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Your spreadsheet should follow this convention too. The information that the user needs to first see or respond to first should be in the top left or top centre. 7/ Format for Description The rule of thumb is; format for description not decoration. What looks good to one person can look terrible to another. Multiple colours can be confusing and again generally simpler is better. If you have created a table or a database in Excel the headings could be bolded to separate these from the data. Perhaps more important than the choice of formatting is that it is consistent throughout the document.
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.