In the early days of computing, printers often used paper that had alternating white and green areas which allowed the reader to easily follow a line of text across the page. This was known as “green bar” paper. While we no longer use this type of paper, the concept is still applicable for situations where your output contains many columns that are hard to follow.
You can create this approach by using alternate row formats within your Excel reports. This is done by combining two Excel formulas:
- The ROW formula returns the row number for a cell reference. For example, ROW(K5) returns the number 5 since the cell is in the 5th row of the spreadsheet.
- The MOD formula returns the remainder of two numbers after division. For example, MOD(9,2) returns the number 1.
When combined, the following formula will result in either a 1 or a 0:
From there, you can use conditional formatting to define the fill colors. If you are doing this in standard Excel, then you can copy the formula throughout the applicable area. If you are doing this within a dynamic report, then you can use it within the formatting area.
This approach allows you to make your wide reports easier to read. This also means that you can recreate the green bar format while you pull out your dot matrix printer and watch classic movies such as Wargames!
IBM Planning Analytics, which TM1 is the engine for, is full of new features and functionality. Not sure where to start? Our team here at Revelwood can help. Contact us for more information at email@example.com. And stay tuned for more Planning Analytics Tips & Tricks weekly in our Knowledge Center and in upcoming newsletters!