I'm currently developing functionality that allows the user to upload, what could be, a fairly large amount of data via an Excel upload.

When the data is uploaded we will validate that and present back to the user any errors.

As our user base is very familiar with Excel, I wanted to present this back to the user in a web page but in a grid styled to look exactly like Excel. This is done and I think it works quite well. The grid is fully editable, just like Excel, and the user is then able to 'fix' the errors directly in the webpage and receive immediate validation on their input.

My concern is that the grid presented back to the user, displaying only those rows containing errors, may have quite a few rows and columns. What would be the best way to present this?

Currently I have x/y scroll bars, but this approach leads to row/column headers disappearing. Common approaches to fix rows/columns in place generally rely on fixed widths which I cannot enforce. I have thought about using tooltips when the user hovers over a cell to display the contextual information. All cells/values with errors are coloured appropriately with a sensible error message.

Any input would be gratefully received.


  • If you are using Excel metaphor, why not to mimic Excel Normal view or Google Docs Spreadsheet Normal view? They both have the same or very close layout and behavior.
    – Serg
    Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 12:36

1 Answer 1


I don't see any problem in keeping the same interface as Excel, if you try something get sure of adding features without drawbacks for the user.

If your concern is about keeping the headers visible all the time, you could take a look at this StackOverflow question where the answer mention the floatThead Plugin which gives you various options to display fixed headers.

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