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An Excel sheet isn’t always used to process data. The row and column layout is a useful way to present and manage a large amount of information and Excel’s features make it possible to use a spreadsheet as a data collection tool.
Excel offers some features that allow you to use it as a form that other users can fill in but if you have to enter instructions for filling the form in, into the spreadsheet, it’s going to get messy.
An easier way to make sure you get the right data is to add limits and restrictions to a cell. Any data or value that falls outside the limit will be rejected.
You can set a character limit for cells in Excel. This limit works so that the value entered is a minimum number of characters long, or it is no longer than a certain number of characters.
It’s useful for when a user must input a phone number, or zip code, or similar.
A user won’t be able to tell if a cell has a character limit so adding a tooltip will help them.
When a user enters a value that does not meet the character limits of the cell, they will see an error. Unfortunately, the error message is generic and doesn’t tell the user why the value wasn’t excepted. You can modify it so the user knows what’s wrong.
You can add an upper, or lower character limit to cells, or enter a precise number of characters that a user must enter in order for the value to be accepted. Go through the various options and add the kind of data limit you need for a cell or column or row.