This article is written by Myles Arnott from Excel Audit
In the first part on our Modeling Best Practices series, we learned 5 best practices to follow. This article shows how to automatically implement the best practices using macros.
Quick Re-cap on Modeling Best Practices
Make cell content and cell purpose visually identifiable at all times
In the first article I highlighted the fact that the content and purpose of every cell should be easily identifiable to the user at all times.
At a basic level we can identify two basic cell types:
|Assumption or constant
Best Practice formatting made easy
In order to make the application of Best Practice formatting quicker and easier I have created three simple macros. These macros use Excel’s Go To Special function and then some simple formatting to the active sheet.
Demo of the macros
Please watch this 5 minute demo to understand how the macros work.
Overview of best practice macros
Auto_Format: automatically formats cells depending on their type:
- Number constants (i.e. input cells) are white background, blue font & unprotected
- Non number constants (e.g. formulae) are grey background, black text & protected
Constants_Format: formats selected cells as white background, blue text & unprotected
Formula_Format: formats selected cells as grey background, black text & protected
And a couple of extras:
Simple_Audit: A Simple Audit Macro that uses the go to special function to select and highlight specific cell types. This is the macro from the Managing Spreadsheet Risk article.
Clear_format: formats all cells as white background, black text & protected
A word of warning: These macros apply formatting to your spreadsheets. This formatting cannot be undone.
File to download
Since formatting steps vary for Excel 2003 & 2007, we have 2 versions of the files. Please download the appropriate file below:
These files have the macros embedded in them. You will need to move these macros into your personal workbook. Help on this.
Have a play with the macros on the example workbook and then, once you are happy with how to use them, you can start applying best practice formatting at the click of a button.
Let us know how you are implementing these best practices and your suggestions using comments.