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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.
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.
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When confronted with a mountain of data that you need to sift through and organize nothing can make your job faster and easier to understand than an effective spreadsheet. When it comes time to share this information with others you will be able to quickly and succinctly offer your findings for their consideration in an easy-on-the-eyes-and-brain form. Without having to completely learn Excel you can create an idyllic spreadsheet template that you can use over and over again to present new information just by changing the data in your cells. With so many options available in spreadsheet programs like Excel you need to consider which ones will work best for your project.
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.