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Spreadsheets Don’t Have To Be Ugly

 

Usually when it comes to spreadsheets, it can be really easy to think of something that looks a lot like this:

Hard to Look At

Visually distracting spreadsheet

Confusing

Confusing Spreadsheet References

Crowded

Numbers Too Close Together

Overly Complex

Overly Complex Spreadsheet Formula

Bland

Bland Number Table

A Complete Mess

A Complete Mess of a Spreadsheet

These are all great examples of ugly spreadsheets, but the truth of the matter is that with a little extra effort and care, your spreadsheet doesn’t have to be ugly at all!

To demonstrate that this is indeed possible, we are going to go through each scenario shown above and show you how each ugly problem can be taken care of in a pinch.

From Hard to Look at to Easy on the Eyes

Your choices of color, font, and emphasis are very powerful things. However, if you use them too much or without much thought, then you might actually achieve the opposite of what you were going for.

When everything is bright or bold or big, nothing stands out. Everything is just way too much in your face. It is really hard to know where to place you attention when everything is calling for it at the same time.

However, if you put thought and care into when you use your pops of color or bolded fonts, then you can achieve something really appealing to look at. Even more so, you can more easily direct attention to the things that need it the most.

Before

Visually Distracting Spreadsheet

After

Much Easier To Read Table

From Confusing to Clear

There is a lot that you can stuff into a spreadsheet. After all, with so many functions and formulas to pick from, it can be hard not to try and use as many as you can.

The more that gets added however, the harder it can be to keep track of everything. Before you know it, you have a very confusing spreadsheet. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You can still put a whole lot of functionality in your spreadsheet and make everything clear to anyone who might use it. It just all depends on the presentation, placement, and purpose for all of your functions and formulas.

Before

Confusing Spreadsheet References

After

Straightforward Layout

From Crowded to Spacious

There is a lot of space in spreadsheets. You don’t have to stuff everything in one row or column. You don’t even have to place things on the same sheet.

The great thing about a workbook is that you have many different pages (sheets) to work with. All it takes is a little organization to take your spreadsheets from crowded to spacious in no time.

Before

Numbers Too Close Together

After

A Well Spread-Out Table

From Overly Complex to Easy to Follow

It doesn’t take too much for a spreadsheet to go from a few calculations to an overly complex system of functions and formulas. If numbers, equal signs, and equations are just thrown around carelessly, an overly complex spreadsheet is pretty much inevitable.

It doesn’t have to be that way though. If you put as much thought into your placement and organization as you do the flow of your functions, then your spreadsheets will be easy to follow and make sense a lot more often.

Before

Overly Complex Spreadsheet Formula

After

A Well Organized Set of Formulas

From Bland to Exciting

As much as a spreadsheet can be too crowded or too confusing, it can also be seen as pretty bland at times too. The thing is, you can make a spreadsheet exciting without it being too much.

We all have our own creative spark. So if you take your own creative skill and put it together with a little organization and some logical thought, then you can create something really exciting overall.

Before

Bland Number Table

After

A Well Colored Number Table

From a Complete Mess to a Masterpiece

When you end up putting together all of the things mentioned previously, you can change a complete mess into a true masterpiece. A spreadsheet can be anything that you make of it. In the end, what you make is entirely up to you.

Before

A Complete Mess of a Spreadsheet

After

A Spreadsheet Masterpiece

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