Making sense of a colour coded spreadsheet

Your boss has just sent you a colour-coded spreadsheet. She’s asked you to make sense of the information in it but the figures you need are all over the place.

When working with spreadsheets, I’d argue it’s better to group information into categories using a different column (or row) for each. That way, when it comes to extracting meaningful information, you can seek out the data with ease.

Coloured squares

Living in an imperfect world, we don’t always have that luxury. Not all spreadsheets we come across are so neatly organised!

To make sense of the data you’re going to need to make all sorts of calculations that reference the cells of a particular colour: to add or subtract, to find the average, the maximum or the minimum values.

So how do you make calculations based on colours?

It is perfectly possible to seek out the coloured cells by eye. Later versions of Excel even provide tools for filtering data using colour.

Once you’ve found the coloured cells you could click on them, in turn, to add them to the calculation you’re making.

This comes at a price. It’s likely to be very time-consuming. There’s also a risk of error. What if you click on the wrong colour? What if you don’t spot that sneaky little yellow cell hiding bottom right?

The solution – ColorCalc automatically!

This is where we got our inspiration for ColorCalc – a clever little Doofa that makes calculations based on colour.

ColorCalc makes the calculations for you by searching from the colours in your spreadsheet. Because it calculates automatically the process is instantaneous, and there’s virtually no chance of an error.

ColorCalc will recognize both text colours and background colours, and won’t get confused by 50 shades of blue!

It doesn’t matter where on the spreadsheet the colour appears. You can even tell ColorCalc to search only in a section of your spreadsheet.

This means you don’t need to reorganise the figures into columns or rows. You can leave them right where they are. So your boss’ spreadsheet remains intact while you impress her with the knowledge you glean from it.


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