11. Formatting Your Dashboard

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It's important that your dashboard fits on one screen and is formatted neatly so users will be inclined to use it. Some formatting tips in this lesson will help you accomplish this task.

Lesson Notes

Fitting dashboard on single screen

- It can be difficult to fit your dashboard on one single screen
- First remove the ribbon by double clicking on one of the ribbon tabs
- Next, adjust the zoom so that all components can be seen and are readable

Adding titles to charts

- Titles can be added within the chart or in a cell above the chart
- When you're adjusting the size and position of charts, it's easier to keep the title within the chart
- The Layout tab on the ribbon (when the chart is selected) is where you add titles

Column gutters

- Gutters are small columns either side of the dashboard that make adding borders a lot easier
- Always add a few gutters to formatting your dashboard


Once you've finished building all the pieces of your dashboard, it's time to arrange them in a neat and readable screen that will look something like this. Unfortunately, getting your dashboard to this point can be point tricky so in this lesson I'll give you some tips on how to format your dashboard correctly. We'd ultimately like our dashboard to appear on one screen and so as a consequence we're going to be pressed for space. To account for this we can change the zoom setting in the bottom right-hand corner and we can remove the ribbon by double-clicking on one of the tabs. Obviously, this zoom setting depends on the size of the screen that the dashboard user has. Next we'll add some headings to our charts. This can be done by adding a title to the chart or writing the title in a cell above the chart. I find this much easier to edit charts by keeping the headings within the chart so that's what I'm going to do. So let's select a chart and then go to Chart Title. And we'll add the title above the chart. I'll reduce the size of the font to 12 and I'll move it to the top left-hand corner of the chart. Next, I'll adjust the size of the chart so that the title can be seen. And the title for this chart would be monthly revenue and the unit is US Dollar. Off camera, I'll add titles like this for the remaining charts. Our next step is to create a few small columns either side of the dashboard. These are called gutters and are very helpful when adding borders to the various sections. So I'll create a new column on the left-hand side with Alt + I C and I'll repeat one more time. And with these two columns, I'll select them and reduce their width. Similarly on the right-hand side I'll select the column and reduce its width as well. Now let's take a look at the dashboard heading. I'll select all of the cells in the dashboard along the top row. Then I'll go to the home tab and merge and center. And this moves my text into the center of the dashboard. I'll also increase the size of the font to say 20. And increase the height of the column. I'll also add a border to this section. Off camera, I'll also add borders to the three remaining sections of the dashboard. All that's left to do now is to move our charts into the correct position. So in the mid-section, I'll select all three, just hold Shift and click and we move these charts to the left and vertically upwards. I'll also make sure that my bottom chart is aligned left with the monthly revenue chart. And with those cosmetic changes made our dashboard is now complete.