Adding Aesthetics: Sites? Books? Tips?

DerekK

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Joined
Jun 18, 2007
Messages
84
Good folk,

I am coming along, slowly but surely, with my Excel VBA and formulas, but I cannot seem to come up with good ideas on making a sharp-looking spreadsheet: it all looks too terribly crude, rudimentary, amateurish.

Does anyone know of sites, books or tips on putting a polish on? I'm not looking for an application or anything like that, that will do it for me: I'm convinced that, if I get a little inspiration, I can take it from there.

Hope you can help.

Thanks,



Derek
 

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Special-K99

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Nov 7, 2006
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Personally I hate sharp looking spreadsheets.
Though some spreadsheets do look nice when "enchanced" a little aesthetically I find most spreadsheets are way over the top and the colours tend to distract from the most important thing - the data.
 

Joe4

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It really depends on what you are trying to show.
Using charts, colors, custom formats, borders, and nice fonts are simple ways to make it look nice without going over the top.
 

DerekK

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Jun 18, 2007
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Well, so far, I got row after row of raw data, and I will need to present this to a manager who tends to put looks above functionality (which is evident particularly in the staff he's hired) so any ideas would help...
 

Peter_SSs

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... I will need to present this to a manager who tends to put looks above functionality (which is evident particularly in the staff he's hired) so any ideas would help...
Does this imply your looks are above your functionality? :biggrin:
 

Norie

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Why not give the boss what they want and keep the 'real' thing behind the scenes?

At least that might make them happy and stop them interfering too much.:)
 

DerekK

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Jun 18, 2007
Messages
84

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Why not give the boss what they want and keep the 'real' thing behind the scenes?

At least that might make them happy and stop them interfering too much.:)

This is most agreeable but I still need some ideas on how to make it look smart.




Does this imply your looks are above your functionality?
Direct and dynamic opposite, I'm a-feared! I guess he needs one chump to burden with everyone else's work.
 

Norie

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It's kind of hard to give specific ideas, a lot of the time this sort of thing can even come down to corporate policy/identity/guidelines/voodoo stuff.

I suppose one of the obvious things to suggest is to make things readable and understandable.

Another could be to not overload with too much functionality, some of which may never be used anway.

Ask people what they want but also come up with some of your own ideas.

Don't try and say they are necessarily better, just show them that there could be another way.:)
 

xenou

MrExcel MVP
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Mar 2, 2007
Messages
16,793
Office Version
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I'm not much with aesthetics I'm afraid. One thing you can try is going to office online and downloading templates - some of these seem very nice and may give you some ideas.
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/?CTT=97

You may enjoy perusing these award winners at the Excel blog - there's some spreadsheets based on the World Cup that will probably make you sick they look so nice (you have to scroll down a little).
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/excel/

My guess is there's probably thousands if not tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of possible ways to jazz up Excel - though if you do anything at all to make your worksheets clean and readable that's good for most purposes. Frankly, many spreadsheets I see have nothing of the sort. One trick I use is textboxes for some of my labeling as they don't require any resizing of columns or rows when you are adding descriptive blurbs. Another habit: I typically don't display gridlines and create my own bordering schemes.
 
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