Many people use spreadsheets on a regular basis without receiving much instruction in how to do so, leaving them to work out styles, structures, and conventions for themselves. This sometimes leads to choices that make spreadsheets harder to understand and use to their full capabilities. This guide contains provide principles and practices of spreadsheet construction to help you...
Most of the tips provided here focus on making calculations easier, not necessarily improving the way data are displayed in a table. Depending on your goals for your spreadsheet, you may find yourself making some tradeoffs between easy readability for humans vs machines. However, unless your sole purpose is to display the data in a table, you will likely help yourself in the long run by incorporating more of the tips presented here.
Much of the most helpful work you can do happens before you start collecting data
Spreadsheets can handle a lot of complexity, but complexity is not necessary for a good spreadsheet. Instead, try to keep it simple:
When you think beyond a single spreadsheet, the best things you can do for yourself are to try to enforce transparency and consistency
Before you start collecting data, think about what you need to be able to do with your spreadsheet. Ask yourself questions like the following: