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  Wednesday, January 14, 2009 – Permalink –

Spreadsheet Design

Make it work and look good


Timothy Miller uses the nom de screen of "Jethro" (Moses' Father-in-Law).

His SpyJournal.biz site/blog gives some tips on how to present an Excel solution


Design and layout

One of the easiest ways to set up spreadsheets that calculate or generate results that need to be reported is to separate the function from the form. Just like a shiny exterior on a car hides the internal engine and wiring. I always create my reports and front end menus to look good and generate results and calculations in more functional sheets.
Hiding unnecessary sections

If you must have calculations and working sections visible, then hide the unnecessary bits. Hiding a row or column is only one way of doing this. Using the group function you can rollup whole rows of information, e.g. components that add to a subtotal or constants and variables such as exchange rates, interest rates, and other indexes.
Use of colour and graphics

I like to use the company logo or other graphic as a design element in my spreadsheet. Sometimes I do this by using the corporate colours, other times by using the graphic itself. If I have a spreadsheet with a lot of macro buttons, I may use command objects and use the logo as a picture on the button.
Removing excel components

There are a number of excel components that you can turn off. Menu screens and reports screens may not need horizontal or vertical scroll bars, sheet tabs or row and column headings. Using macro buttons to return to a menu can overcome the need for sheet tabs. Not displaying gridlines will give a clean uncluttered look to a layout, and then using borders as necessary can create emphasis in the right areas.

You'll find the complete text here:
Design Presentation Tips
Also see:
SpreadsheetStyle

[Edited entry from 11/7/2005]




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<Doug Klippert@ 3:00 AM

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