Chapter 2: Table Design Best Practices

In This Chapter

Table design principles

Custom number formatting

Applying custom format colors

Applying custom format conditions

The Excel table is the number one way information is consolidated and relayed. Look in any Excel report, and you’ll find a table of data. Yet the concept of making tables easier to read and more visually appealing escapes most of us.

Even on many highly graphical dashboards, you find key pieces of information (like the top ten sales reps) presented in a table format. But while the visual components of dashboards are treated with overwhelming care and attention, table design rarely goes beyond matching the color scheme of the other visual components of the dashboard.

Maybe the nicely structured rows and columns of a table lull people into believing that the data is presented in the best way possible. Maybe the options of adding color and borders make the table seem nicely packaged. In any case, you can use several design principles to make your Excel table a more effective platform for conveying data points.

In this chapter, you explore how easy it is to apply a handful of table-design best practices. The tips found here will ultimately help you create visually appealing tables that make the data within them easier to consume and comprehend.

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