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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.
Bonus Tip: Stick with Conventions I mentioned before that the buttons on the hard-to-use spreadsheet were square. If you look at just about any website using a button the ratio of width to height falls roughly in the range 2:1 to about 5:1. Sizes too far outside this range look a bit strange and are not as readily identifiable as buttons. Hyperlinks that you create in Excel can be formatted any colour you like but unless there is a good reason stick with the well-known blue and underlined as in ExcelProductivityTips. The spreadsheet templates that used to ship with Excel were formatted with light yellow for areas of data entry and light green for results. Some people still use this convention.
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It is easy convenient and I admit ego-boosting to show off what I can do in a spreadsheet. With that in mind let s look at some of the differences between these two different types of tools. For the purposes of this article I selected six criteria by which to make the comparison. These were selected from the feedback of customers and prospects as well as learning what is important for the successful adoption and implementation of project tools within an organization. Data Mining Data mining is a huge part of project management tools. The whole reason for having a tool is to collect data so that you can look intelligently at that data make sure your processes are performing as advertised and make good decisions.
Consider multiple pages if your spreadsheet needs the space but be sure to make the breaks in the pages or information logical. You do not want to add more confusion by trying to prevent confusion. Ultimately it would be best if users can view the spreadsheet at 100% and it fits your screen. If a user has to decrease the view size to view the spreadsheet in its entirety then the information becomes harder to read. Fonts You should choose one type of font and consistently use it throughout the spreadsheet. The only exception would be titles or headings. The use of a different font will make it that much easier to differentiate between titles and data.