Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
What Makes a Good Utility?
Post-mortem of the project
The previous sections describe each component of the Text Tools utility. At this point, it’s useful
to revisit the original project goals to see whether they were met. The original goals, along with
my comments, are as follows:
h Its main features will be those listed at the beginning of this section. Accomplished.
h It will enable the user to request the preceding types of changes on nontext cells as
well as text cells. Accomplished.
h It will have the same look and feel of other Excel commands. In other words, it will have
a dialog box that looks like Excel’s dialog boxes. The Text Tools utility deviates from
Excel’s normal look and feel by using an Apply button rather than an OK button. And,
unlike most of Excel’s dialog boxes, Text Tools uses a modeless, stay-on-top dialog box.
In light of the enhanced usability, I think these deviations are quite reasonable.
h It will be in the form of an add-in and will be accessible from the Ribbon. Accomplished.
h It will operate with the current selection of cells (including multiple selections), and it
will enable the user to modify the range selection while the dialog box is displayed.
Accomplished. And because the dialog box need not be dismissed, it didn’t require the
use of a RefEdit control.
h It will remember the last operation used and display those settings the next time the
dialog box is invoked. Accomplished (thanks to the Windows Registry).
h It will have no effect on cells that contain formulas. Accomplished.
h It will be fast and efficient. For example, if the user selects an entire range, the utility
should ignore empty cells. Accomplished.
h It will use a nonmodal dialog box so that the user can keep the dialog box on-screen
and ready to use. Accomplished.
h It will be compact in size so that it doesn’t hide too much of the worksheet.
h It will enable the user to undo the changes. Accomplished.
h Comprehensive help will be available. Accomplished.
Understand the Text Tools utility
If you don’t fully understand how this utility works, I urge you to load the add-in and use the
Debugger to step through the code. Try it out with different types of selections, including an
entire worksheet. You’ll see that regardless of the size of the original selection, only the
appropriate cells are processed, and empty cells are completely ignored. If a worksheet has only one cell
with text in it, the utility operates just as quickly whether you select that cell or the entire
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