Spreadsheet Design Guidelines

Revised 2012.09.29

 

The following are general guidelines for formatting your spreadsheets. However, usually your assignments will have specific formatting instructions. Always go by the specific formatting instructions when doing your homework.

       It usually makes sense to right-align (or possibly center) column headings that are above columns of numbers.

       It usually makes sense to left-align (or possibly center) column headings that are above columns of text.

       If column headings are wider than the data in the columns, turn on the "wrap text" feature for the heading cells.

       Column headings should usually be formatted differently than the data below them. The "Heading" Cell Styles are good choices for column headings.

       Printouts usually look better if they are centered horizontally on the page (i.e., make left and right margins equal).

       Printouts are usually easier to read if you do not print gridlines. However, use cell borders to group or separate different parts of your spreadsheet.

       Use landscape orientation to print if the worksheet is wider than it is tall. Use portrait orientation to print if the worksheet is taller than it is wide.

       When possible, print all columns on a single page (never have a single right-most column spill over onto a separate page).

       Always do a print preview before actually printing to verify that your worksheet looks the way you want it to look. Also check how many pages your printout will be before printing.