CHAPTER 7 Tools for Model Display

Leaving aside the formulas and calculations of a model, in this chapter we will focus on the look and feel of a model. There are many Excel tools that can be used to make the model more attractive and friendly to the user. We’ll look at the basic formatting, and then more complex custom formatting, conditional formatting, and then form controls, which can be built to help the user interact with the model more easily.


Believe it or not, as simple as it may sound, good formatting is an important part of building a financial model. While it’s critical of course to get the numbers right, making your model look good is the next step! A model that is well formatted will be more readable, user-friendly, and easy to navigate. Additionally, you, the modeller, will find it easier to work with the model if it is clearly formatted.

In the latest version of Excel, all the formatting options for colour, font, and alignment are clearly displayed on the Home tab. A shortcut exists on the Home tab where you can very quickly change the number format on any cell from the Number Ribbon, as shown in Figure 7.1.


Figure 7.1 Formatting in the Ribbon

For detailed instructions on the more basic formatting tools, including changing number formats, percentage and currency formatting, number alignment, cell attributes, and styles, please see the ...

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