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Validating User Input

You can help ensure that the worksheets you create contain valid data entered by others (or even by yourself) through the use of Excel's Data Validation feature. New to Excel 97, Data Validation lets you define rules for cells on worksheets in a flexible way, including automatic pop-up reminders and messages if invalid data is entered. Through the use of the Data Validation feature, you can reduce the need to audit information in worksheets.

Set Validation Rules and Responses

Consider the worksheet shown in Figure 19.6. You see a worksheet designed to collect information on General Ledger journal entries. People in accounting use this worksheet to enter data about needed entries to the General Ledger, after which the General Ledger clerk enters the actual journal entries into the accounting system. There have been a number of problems with people entering invalid account and cost center numbers, dates, and descriptions that are too lengthy to fit into the accounting system. Each time an error occurs, a lot of employee time is wasted trying to sort out the problem. By setting up data validation rules in the worksheet, you can reduce the amount of confusion and the potential for these time-consuming problems.


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