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A Win32 Application has a spread sheet. Spreadsheet has some columns. What columns and what type of data in each column? that's determined when we load the spreadsheet application, it reads the data from a database.

Now I am thinking of some good UI such that users will be able to enter new information to this spreadsheet, like a "Manual Entry" button. But how? should I just add a blank row at the bottom of the spreadsheet? should it brig a new dialog form to enter info?

What do you suggest?

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2 Answers 2

Some timesheet applications I've seen appear to address this problem in a clean way. Essentially, the spreadsheet consists only of rows the information already entered and one empty row at the bottom. The first cell in that empty row has a highlight that suggests input. Once information is entered in this cell, the others in the row (dependent on that cell's information) become active. Each cell is formatted to have data entered in its appropriate, required way (free text, dropdown, etc.). Once you've completed entering information in that row, the row is now an active part of the overall sheet and a new empty row appears at the bottom of the sheet. Based on what you've described, I think this would work for you.

It does not, however, allow you to move the position of the row within the sheet or allow you to insert a row. With a sorting mechanism in place this wouldn't matter but I don't know if sequence is important for your data.

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It's depends on the use scenario of your spreadsheet.
A spreadsheat with a empty row is the right one, for entering many individual data (e.g. Excel). Entering data in a separate dialog should be used, if entered data have dependencies among each other or special conditions.

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