Manage the Display

Good Excel applications exhibit a fit and finish that can be achieved only by paying attention to how information does (or doesn't) get displayed. Not only does this result in better-looking applications, it also results in better performance.

The first thing to do is manage screen updating. When you don't manage screen updating, often the screen flashes like a vintage disco strobe light—except when this happens, it's not cool. To give your application a better fit and finish, make sure you turn off screen updating as your code executes.

You can see the performance benefits of managing screen updating by examining the output of Listing 13.1. Just by turning off screen updating, you can increase the performance of an application significantly.

Another thing to pay attention to is the use of message boxes and forms. Use them judiciously. In a long process, try and arrange the process so that any message boxes or forms are displayed at the beginning or the end of a process if at all. That way, end users don't feel like they have to "baby-sit." Additionally, although forms offer a great deal of functionality, they also cause the size of the file to bloat.

One more practice that I've really come to appreciate is sizing the worksheet, which is the practice of hiding unused columns and rows. Sizing the worksheet offers a few benefits. First, it focuses the user on the data range and visually enforces to the user that they don't need to be concerned with anything else on the worksheet. It provides great mental closure. Second, users who navigate using the keyboard will appreciate the fact that they can easily get to the boundaries of the data range without zipping down to the 65,536th row or column IV. Finally, when filling a series using the mouse, you don't experience that frustrating problem of oscillating back and forth trying to fill down to the exact row. Figure 13.1 shows an example of a sized worksheet.

Shortcut keys make sizing a worksheet a five-second (or less) task. Table 13.1 lists the shortcut keys that are useful when sizing worksheets.

Table 13.1: Useful Shortcut Keys for Sizing worksheets

Shortcut

Purpose

CTRL+ i

Move to bottom of current region.

CTRL+^

Move to right edge of current region.

CTRL+SHIFT+i

Select cells to bottom of current region.

CTRL+SHIFT+ ^

Select cells to right edge of current region.

CTRL+(

Hide the selected rows.

CTRL+SHIFT+(

Unhide the selected rows.

CTRL+)

Hide the selected columns.

CTRL+SHIFT+)

Unhide the selected columns.

Figure 13.1

A sized worksheet offers nice navigational benefits and provides users with mental closure.

0 Microsoft Office Excel 2003 Beta - Chapter 13 Examples.xls

File Edit View Insert

Format Tools Data iiid i tvr x ; ¿j ¿p i r,'R.=pi- vthgiaDJT^

File Edit View Insert

Format Tools Data iiid i tvr x ; ¿j ¿p i r,'R.=pi- vthgiaDJT^

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

1

1

«

x

X

X

X

X

X

2

X

X

X

X

X

x

X

3

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

4

X

X

x

x

X

X

X

5

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

6

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

7

X

X

*

X

X

X

X

S

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

9

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

10

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

11

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

12

X

X

x

X

X

X

X

13

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

14

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

15

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

16

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

17

X

x

x

X

x

X

X

18

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

19

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

20

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

21

22

23

H i i H / sheets /^leetTySize the Worksheet f

H i i H / sheets /^leetTySize the Worksheet f

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment