I think this is such a common theme with my posts because it is very, very common for me to find myself creating a perfectly useful template, shipping it off to the client, and – at some future point in time – it comes back to me needing to be “fixed”.

This is inevitable when a spreadsheet passes from user to user to user.

Knowing this, I find that Excel’s “Data Validation” feature is infinitely helpful.

I think this is such a common theme with my posts because it is very, very common for me to find myself creating a perfectly useful template, shipping it off to the client, and – at some future point in time – it comes back to me needing to be “fixed”.

This is inevitable when a spreadsheet passes from user to user to user.  Knowing this, I find that Excel’s “Data Validation” feature is infinitely helpful.

One probably underutilized feature of “Data Validation” is the “Input Message” tab.  The “Input Message” is very similar to entering a “Comment” for a cell but, unlike a “Comment” that only shows up when the user “mouseovers” a cell, the “Input Message” shows up no matter what.

You will find this feature very useful in keeping your spreadsheets as “user friendly” as possible while allowing the user some flexibility as to what they input (as opposed to a strict “Data Validation List”).

FYI: This type of “Heads Up” is commonly referring to as a “Tooltip”.

 

Data Validation - Tooltip 1 - Saving Users from Themselves - Microsoft Excel - Tips - FIG Consulting Partners - Input Message - Tooltips
Input
Data Validation - Tooltip 2 - Saving Users from Themselves - Microsoft Excel - Tips - FIG Consulting Partners - Input Message - Tooltips
Output