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Data Forms in Excel

excel-data-formAlthough not used frequently, excel data forms can be a useful tool to work your way through a medium size data set. Imagine your boss just handed over a set of invoices and asked you to type them onto a worksheet. Now life would have been a lot simpler had he given you say a dozen invoices but as Murphy said, anything that can go wrong it will. And as you stare at the pile of invoices lying in front of you, you being to wish that there was an easy way to enter that data in excel…

Now, the trick to manually entering large data sets into an excel worksheet lies in the use of excel data forms. Say each of the invoices in the above example had a serial number, first and last names, 2 business phone numbers, amounts and a date. Begin by opening an empty worksheet. Then simply add the above as headers in the first row, say – Serial Number, First Name, Last Name, Business # 1, Business # 2, Amount Due and Date. Now punch in the details of the first invoices just below the header row. Now comes the interesting part. Move the cursor to any cell in the range that you just created. Now on the menu bar, click on ‘Data’ and then on ‘Form’. A form just opens up which displays the first record (the first invoice) that you had just entered. Click ‘New’ and enter the details of the second invoice. Use tab to move between rows (tab once to move forward to the next field, shift+tab to move backwards to the previous field). Once you have entered all the details, press ‘Enter’. That will enter all the details onto the next row and present with you a blank fresh record to enter details of the next invoice.


That’s not all. You can use the vertical slider to sift through the records and check if all the records that you just entered in the worksheet are in order. What’s more you can even use the excel data form on any list that already exists.

What Do You Think ?

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Comments and Trackbacks

  1. chris crandell wrote:

    Data form is intriguing.
    Can the form be customized?
    i.e. we have a complaint list where some fields are up to 256 characters. Would be nice for the edit/display field to show most/all, possibly in a scrollable edit box.
    Could the fields be custom-arranged in the form instead of being entirely vertical?


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