Monday, August 27, 2012

The Spacebar is your Nemesis in Excel

What does this have to do with custom invitations, you ask?

Everything!  We know not everyone is an expert in using spreadsheets. So since this is our preferred method of getting your guest addresses, we decided it is a really great idea give you a little GUEST LIST 101

Spreadsheets are your friend. They are, in the simplest form, a database. You can list and sort and filter and subtotal all kinds of data.

But what you may not be aware of is everything you type, even a stray character for example, is "used" as part of your data input. Excel is NOT A WORD PROCESSOR.

Since Pink Tomato uses excel to manage your guest address data base, we see lots of "issues" with this and while we may or may not bring it to your attention, we spend a lot of time cleaning up files that are sent to us. And that's billable time!

The biggest culprit?
Often times, it is used inappropriately to create a "tab" or a large space between groups of information. Other times it is inadvertently used in front of or in back of pieces of data.

The CELLS in a spreadsheet eliminate the need for a TAB or spacing. Using the spacebar in that manner wreaks havoc in spreadsheets...creating incomplete & uneven spacing, misalignment's and it creates errors in sorting orders. This is especially important if we are creating an alphabetized seating chart!

If ever in doubt, just dissect your information into groups and direct your data into appropriate columns. In our case, a guest list.

For example:
Group A/Column A = Title
Group B/Column B = First Name
C = Last Name
D = Children or Guest Names (not necessary to spread across columns, keep them all in one, even if there is more than one extra person. Just separate them by a comma)

E = Street Address
F = City
G = State
H = Zip

Avoid any fancy formatting and avoid using the spacebar except where appropriate in a string of data. By following the guide above, you will make us very happy.