Ten tips for creating stylish spreadsheets

As a tool that is primarily used for presenting data, Excel’s formatting capabilities tend to be overlooked.

Well-presented spreadsheet data is clear and reduces the risk of errors; what’s more, the layout of a document affects the way readers respond to it. If you have converted your data from PDF to Excel, you usually lose the formatting in the process. Here are ten easy tips for turning your spreadsheet into an effective document.

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1. Try out a template

Microsoft Excel offers a range of templates that you can select when opening a new document. There are even more to choose from on the web.

2. Get the font right

Your choice of font will make all the difference to how your spreadsheet looks. Arial or Calibri are good choices, which is why they often appear on apps as the default font.

3. Create space

Start in cell B2, as leaving row one and column A blank gives your spreadsheet extra margin space.

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4. Align your text

You don’t need to stick to the defaults of text to the left, numbers to the right. Format your cells and use options to align your text the way you want.

5. Use gridlines to your advantage

As a general rule, gridlines make it easier to follow data across the page; however, losing the gridlines can give a cleaner look. Try using them to highlight specific columns, such as results.

6. Align graphs or tables

If you have more than one graph or table, your spreadsheet will look better if these are aligned to the same row.

7. Use your own decoration

Converting from PDF to Excel using online tools such as https://pdftables.com/convert-pdf-to-excel effectively gives you a blank canvas to work from. Use a simple background effect to make your spreadsheet stand out.

8. Dark text is best

Dark text on a light background works better for spreadsheets and is easier to read. It also saves on printing ink.

9. Incorporate an image

An image such as a logo can give your spreadsheet a more professional touch.

10. Don’t go overboard

Once you have discovered what you can do with visuals on Excel, it might be tempting to overdo it! Stay away from designs that are too elaborate to keep that clean and clear feel.