Have you ever needed to use a spreadsheet that became hard to follow, or filled with numbers? If you’ve got, you will start to appreciate the significance of desirable layout and format. The different day, an acquaintance dispatched me an Excel spreadsheet that he had created for his very own use, and thought is probably useful to others. Here changed into a spreadsheet that has been created via someone with an awesome understanding of formulas and capabilities. But… It changed into now not obvious at first look what to do with it. Do I click on one of these buttons? Do I need to go into a few statistics? Where do I input the information?

On closer exam, those have been the issues that made it hard to apply:

  • There changed into no heading or identify.
  • It becomes very dense in phrases of the number of cells displaying on display screen.
  • Ranges of cells had been formatted in 5 unique hues. What did all of it mean?
  • Help furnished became confined to quick remarks in some cells, and a number of these were in hidden columns.
  • The sections for statistics access and the sections for results had been not virtually separated.
  • Macro buttons had been rectangular in shape.

The give up result changed into that I just did not want to apply this particular spreadsheet, despite its useful calculations. So what might have been accomplished to make it higher? Here are 7 pointers that will help you create more person-pleasant spreadsheets.

7 Ways to Improve Excel Spreadsheet Usability

Consider the End User

Who goes to use the spreadsheet? Are they knowledgeable approximately Excel? Are they knowledgeable about the contents of the spreadsheet? The answers to those questions will determine the layout, protection issues, the quantity of assist supplied, and likely the formatting.

Get the Layout Right

Often it facilitates to position pen to paper and sketches the hard layout of a spreadsheet ahead. It is easier to exchange things at this degree that while the spreadsheet is nicely underway.

Three/ Provide Adequate Help

There are lots of ways to provide help. It may be a heading or title that describes what the spreadsheet is or does a remark in mobile, information that is related to facts validation, facts in a textual content field, a separate worksheet, or may be separate documentation. The quantity of assist supplied will be determined via how intuitive to apply the spreadsheet is and also by way of the solution to that first question, who goes to apply the spreadsheet?

Separate Data Entry from Results

Areas of the spreadsheet for statistics access need to be saved break free the areas that provide consequences of calculations. If now not performed, it is able to be difficult for the top consumer, and also will become tougher to keep the spreadsheet. This separation would possibly involve the use of separate worksheets, or just making sure a clear distinction between the 2 areas on the one worksheet.


To tons of facts on one worksheet may be overwhelming, and usually, simpler is higher. The spreadsheet mentioned at the start of this newsletter might have been stepped forward with the aid of spreading data over different worksheets. Other ways to attain a simpler appearance are:

  • Using charts to carry information rather than tables of information.
  • Increasing the row height so that the worksheet isn’t always too dense with data.
  • Shading every 2nd row on a worksheet with a mild shade where there are plenty of numbers.

Consider the Normal Flow of a Document

The standard manner to read an e-book, newspaper or simply text on display is left to right and top to bottom. Your spreadsheet needs to follow this convention too. The facts that the person desires to first see or reply to first must be in the pinnacle left or top center.

7 Ways to Improve Excel Spreadsheet Usability

Format for Description

The rule of thumb is; layout for description, now not an ornament. What seems true to at least one individual can look terrible to every other. Multiple shades may be confusing, and once more, normally easier is better. If you have created a table or a database in Excel, the headings can be bolded to split those from the facts. Perhaps extra crucial than the selection of formatting is that it’s far consistent at some stage in the file.

Bonus Tip:

Stick with Conventions

I cited before that the buttons on the hard-to-use spreadsheet had been rectangular. If you take a look at pretty much any internet site the use of a button, the ratio of width to top falls more or less within the variety 2:1 to about five: 1. Sizes too some distance out of doors this variety appearance a bit peculiar, and aren’t as quite simply identifiable as buttons.

Hyperlinks that you create in Excel may be formatted any shade you like, but until there is a great purpose, stick with the famous blue and underlined, as in, ExcelProductivityTips. The spreadsheet templates that used to ship with Excel have been formatted with light yellow for regions of records entry, and light green for consequences. Some human beings nevertheless use this conference.