So I've been working on a massive model over the past year, and recently recorded a webcast on modeling practices. In the course I cover some of my philosophies for making sure that the model lends itself to attracting valid data, namely I colour all input cells green and tell my users that green means go. This is a practice that I've followed for many years, and it's served us very well at work.
When working on my model though, just coding the input cells isn't enough. I need to enforce different looks for different cell types, and for this I reached to styles to help me manage consistency across the workbook. My custom styles gallery looks like this:
All the DE_ styles are data entry cells. The Head_ styles are for headers, and the SYS_ styles are for formulas and text that I don't want the users to change.
For a long time this worked out really well for me, but then I had to implement a changeâ€¦ I had to link to data in an external file. I try not to do that, and I need to be able to see this data in my model, but I didn't have a style to do this. Excel 2010's gallery has some default styles shown here:
As an accountant, I just can't have a block of Linked Cells with double underlines all the way through. Double underlines are for totals, not accents. So I ended up building my own style for this too:
I think it's equally ugly, but it does draw your attention to the fact that they're pretty dangerous.
I'm just curious as to what conventions you use. Do you highlight links in any way? Do you draw attention to internal links (to other sheets) or only external? What other things do you try to draw attention to?