Worksheet cell importance tagging

New Contributor

I have a table with some cells that are underutilized and creating clutter in an excel worksheet.  Is there a way to send an excel worksheet to some users and have them "vote" on which cells to keep and which to hide or remove?  I was thinking along the lines of multiple users tagging or commenting as "Keep" or "Don't keep".  Then maybe I could color code according to how many "keep" votes the cell got.

4 Replies



You could always choose to send an excel worksheet to some users and have them "vote" on which cells to keep and which to hide or remove. Oh, wait, those were your words.


Seriously, nothing special involved. Just, as the Nike slogan goes, do it.


Your question makes me wonder, however, what the workbook is about in the first place. Is it just some kind of summary data on, say, monthly production runs, or sales activity, or.....? You're just asking a question about usefulness of a given design, it would appear, but that makes me wonder what the whole thing is about. 


Is it possible--would it be helpful in any way--for you to post a copy of the sheet here to get feedback from "disinterested outsiders"? Just make sure there's no confidential info--change names etc to disguise it.

@mathetes try this... there is a lot of repetition in the format but it is a project team tracker/notes/report/whatever... I want to know what fields (gray highlights) are important to the team to talk about for each project (1 through 20 maybe) and which are wasted space.  What I would hope for is a visual (Red/Yellow/Green) based on importance (i.e. votes) each field had.  Then I would condense the notes to focus on what the team absolutely needed.  Circulating the spreadsheet and collecting individual results and then compiling them would probably be a nightmare with the amount of people affected, but having each person evaluate and then having a live (sharepoint version) spreadsheet that could be viewed as data changed might be tolerable.






OK. I see what you're doing.


Unless I'm missing something--so far as I can tell, there are no actual Excel functions being used here, no formulas to add, subtract, multiply, divide, compare, check--what you're doing is taking advantage of the fact that Excel has a very useful array of rows and columns, arrayed as cells, some of which can be combined to make nice're using Excel to organize and display disparate data to facilitate tracking of a project or two (or more).


That's fine. But it's not really using Excel for what Excel was created for.


Normally when I see somebody using Excel this way I suggest that they go to PowerPoint or Word, each of which can also display rows and columns, though to a more limited extent.


In your case, you've got so many of those cells that I can see why you're choosing to "use" Excel. I can also see why some of your colleagues don't find all of them equally significant, why, in other words, you came with your question. I also would fully concur with your observation that you're "creating clutter."


So to your original question, there IS a way to have users comment on individual cells in a worksheet (on the "Insert" menu, you'll see the option to insert Comments. Just position the cursor in any cell and select that choice from the menu.


But given the extent of this worksheet, asking people to insert comments on this would magnify the problem. You could ask them to use the background color choices to highlight in green, yellow, or red based on perceived importance. I truly think the better approach would be to convene a meeting with a few representative users and just do it collectively.

@mathetes Ok, thanks for the input.  If I could sit down around the table I think that could work with 5-10 people, but I feel like in order to get actual engagement in this remote work environment, I really will need individual calls.  I was hoping there was some way to maybe "count clicks" or "votes" in an automated way while displayed in SharePoint. 


Oh well, back to the good, old fashion, personal engagement method... lol.