Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Red Light - Green Light

Everybody raise their hand who likes typical, boring, drab Excel workbooks. Anybody? No? I didn’t think so. I am sure most of us would agree that Excel worksheets usually lack any kind of Pizzazz to make them engaging. Well today we are going to look at how to take the “Cold” out of Cold Hard Data.

A worksheet can serve as a Decision Tool and showing a Yes, No, or Maybe adjacent to your agenda items can certainly get the job done. but it’s Boring, Boring, Boring, isn’t it? Since the advent of Excel 2007 you have sets of Graphical Icons with your decision lists that can give your reports some of that much-needed Sparkle!

Let’s suppose you have a proposed agenda for an upcoming annual corporate meeting. Possible topics have been submitted from various departments, and you want to use a Semaphore for an icon when make a preliminary worksheet showing a:

Green Light for a definite inclusion in the program
Yellow Light for a possible inclusion
Red Light to exclude the topic from the agenda

Here’s What to Do:

1.  Select the range of cells in which you want a Semaphore to appear
2.  Click Conditional Formatting on the Home tab, choose Icon Sets and pick the set that includes the Semaphore
3.  Go back to Conditional Formatting and choose Manage Rules
4.  Click Edit Rule and put a check in the Show Icon Only box and Apply
5.  By default, a “1” will be a Red Light; “2” will be a Yellow Light, and “3” will be a Green Light

Your Decision Lists will instantly take on a New, Engaging Look and will be sure to gain closer looks by any of the users. And, of course, the cool thing is that it is Easy (and “Easy” is a good thing…). 

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