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Tip: Using “Dummy” Sheets to Organize Your Sheet Navigation

This example outlines the things to consider and tips for using “dummy” sheets to help your users navigate through sheets.  It is common for a customer to have many sheets and after a while it becomes a long list of items.  Infrequent users can sometimes find it confusing.  Something we have seen customers do to help with this involves using standard sheets as section labels. The general concept is to create a sheet to serve as a header for the sheets that follow it.  Customers have used other variations of this including numbering (1.1, 1.2, 2.1...) or using letters (A1, A2, B1...).


For this example, we will start with this list of sheets:


As you can see in this list, sheets are not organized at all but there are some logical groupings that we could apply to these sheets, for example:  Summary Views, Opex, Revenue, Workforce.

Before we create the dummy sheets, we need to have a dummy account to put on the sheets.  Create a Custom account and name it whatever you want (for this example the name is NA).


Determine what labels make sense for your dummy sheets, for this example we will use:

  • Summary Views
  • Opex
  • Workforce
  • Revenue
  • Capex
  • Other

To make the labels stand out more in the menu we will pad each of the labels with a character.  Because the system uses a true type font, there is not a fixed number of characters before the label is truncated so you will have to adjust each label as necessary.  Common examples of padding characters are:  -, *, =, +.  Other tips for the sheet names are:

  • Use all capitals to make them stand out
  • Either center the labels or start them all at the same point like 10 characters, then the label, and just pad the end to make them all even

For this example, we get to the following:

---------- SUMMARY VIEWS --------
---------- OPEX -------------------------
---------- WORKFORCE -------------
---------- REVENUE ------------------
---------- CAPEX -----------------------
---------- OTHER -----------------------

Create the new standard sheets with the label names you have selected:

  • Name is the label you selected, click next
  • Add the dummy custom account you created to the sheet, it is best to also mark it read only, click next
  • Click next on the dimension screen 
  • Optionally check the “Suppress rows if all zeros or blanks” to prevent anything from displaying on the screen if a user accidentally selects the dummy sheet, click next
  • Select the levels that this dummy sheet relates to.  For example, some of my levels have no revenue so I will not include them for the Revenue dummy sheet.  Click create sheet.
  • Click done
  • You can at this point adjust the trailing characters to get all the labels to be about the same width


Once you have created all the sheets, you can reorder the sheets to create your grouping by clicking the move arrows  clipboard_e81cc57fffa9051c2a079522ab6133dde.png

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