Income Tax Worksheets
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.
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.
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This is where the right project management software tool shines and spreadsheets fade. A good project management tool will be database-oriented and should allow for different types of ad hoc reporting across multiple projects. This enables the mining of all kinds of data. You simply cannot do this in a spreadsheet at the same level. If you really really know what you are doing it is possible to tie spreadsheets together and generate some integrated data. But that is not the same thing. You simply cannot on a whim mine into the data represented in your multiple spreadsheets. And in today s environment this is critically important.
Here was a spreadsheet that had been created by someone with a good knowledge of formulas and functions. But... it was not obvious at first glance what to do with it. Do I click on one of these buttons? Do I need to enter some data? Where do I enter the data? On closer examination these were the problems that made it difficult to use: - There was no heading or title. - It was very dense in terms of the number of cells showing on screen. - Ranges of cells were formatted in five different colours. What did it all mean? - Help provided was limited to brief comments in some cells and some of these were in hidden columns. - The sections for data entry and the sections for results were not clearly separated. - Macro buttons were square in shape.