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## How To Create A Brilliant Excel Spreadsheet – Focus On Formatting Article – 2

It is very important to consider the formatting of your spreadsheet. It may seem trivial to spend time thinking about your formatting, but if you follow a few simple rules your brilliant spreadsheet will not only look good but do your calculations quickly and efficiently.

Let’s keep it simple and jump right into simple formatting rules with a few great tips to give you the finishing touches.

1. Keep it simple. A spreadsheet. Most people spend a lot of time formatting their all-singing-and-dancing spreadsheets, with all the bells and whistles you can think of. This most of the time looks good to the spreadsheet writer, but is very confusing or just plain chaotic to the users.

2. Do not exceed the format. Yes, it makes it easier to read and follow, but go too far, this will add complexity and may hinder the performance of Excel. especially conditional formatting can slow down Excel, as it keeps recalculating.

3. Keep to natural colors if you can, I find that black, white and gray colors work well, they look clean and professional but give the spreadsheet an added value.

4. Stick to the default formatting of cells, ie text is aligned to the left and numbers to the right – this is what Excel expects. This can greatly speed up troubleshooting if you remove formulas or reference cells, as you can tell at a glance whether cells should be formatted with text or numbers.

5. Format cells as text only if you **indeed** It should, since all data you enter in a text-formatted cell becomes text, even if you wanted it to be numeric, this is one thing you don’t want – any formula cells are formatted as text.

6. Try not to use it to keep the use of combination cells to an absolute minimum. I can’t explain how much this can cause issues like losing the ability to edit data correctly, use copy and paste correctly and the ability to run VBA code as it doesn’t handle merged cells well. Another great way to get around is to use another Choice Center. This can be easily achieved with Format | Cell alignment | Horizontal | Central to all Choices. Try another method.

7. Always try to leave at least three or more empty rows at the top of your database table. This can be easily applied to feature criteria such as database functions and advanced filters.

Formatting a spreadsheet is something that can be a personal choice for a particular color scheme, or how busy the spreadsheet is, but one must always keep the user in mind, no matter how easy it is for a new user to follow your spreadsheet. In summary keep it clean, simple and stick to predefined formats to eliminate any slowness or errors in formulas due to incorrect cell formatting.

The first in this four article series was How to Create a Brilliant Spreadsheet – the Planning Vs Execution 80/20 split.

Next in this series will be how to design a brilliant Spreadsheet – Solid Structure – article 3.

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