Create Message

Message sheets allows users to analyse charts to the finest detail. They can be used to:

  • Point out outliers
  • Show the positive/negative change between two data points
  • Annotate specific data
Message Example

Creating a Message

Create Message can be accessed from the XLCubed Ribbon.

Create Message, XLCubed ribbon

Here a range is selected that the create message sheet is required for. This then takes a screenshot of the range and opens up a new sheet.

Adding a 'Message' and Title

Message: This is an overall message summarising the chart/report and usually appears at the top of the page.

Title: According to IBCS Standards, the title describes the content of the page without giving any interpretations or conclusions. The Title usually consists of three lines:

  1. Who: i.e. a legal entity, an organisation unit, a project etc
  2. What: This is the business measure and the unit they are measured in. Typically measures are written in bold
  3. When: i.e. time period(s), scenario(s) and variance(s)

An example could be:

Crisps Corporation
Net Sales in mEUR
2015..2019 AC, 2020 PL

Footnotes: The footnotes are for general explanations, explanations of abbreviations and information that increases the credibility of the report such as the source or date of publication.

Annotating the Report

Side Toolbar

The side bar lets you insert further items to help further analyse your chart/report.

Create Message Side Toolbar

Second Excel Image: Allows you to add in a second screenshot

Highlight: Adds an elliptical circle which can be edited and dragged over a particular data point

Text: General comments concerning the whole chart

Comment: This adds in a number to reference certain data points

Comment Textbox: Number Comments related to certain data points

Vertical/Horizontal Delta: Inserts two parallel assisting lines highlighting the difference between two values. To show a negative distance, click on the Switch Colour button on the top toolbar

Warning Highlight: Inserts a red circle to highlight important negative, positive or questionable parts of a chart.

Trend line: Inserts an arrow to highlight the direction of the trend with the slope.

Reference Arrow: Inserts a reference arrowhead for highlighting a reference standard.

Right Click Menu

Click on an item and right click to show the right click menu

Create Message Right Click Menu

Add: This gives the option to add another item such as a comment or highlight etc.

Edit: Opens the Message Item Settings

Delete

Bring to Front

Send to Back

Move Backward

Bring Forward

Message Item Settings

Text Options

Message Item Text Settings
  • Text
    • Insert and Edit the text of the selected item
  • Text Layout
    • Vertical Alignment
    • Direction
    • Autofit Mode – This either resizes the shape or shrinks the text so that the item fits on the page.
    • Inner Margin

Shape Options

Message Item Shape Settings
  • Style
    • Shape Fill
      • Colour
      • Transparency
    • Shape Outline
      • Outline Type
  • Layout
    • Size
      • Width
      • Height
      • Lock Aspect Ratio
    • Rotation

Top toolbar

Create Message Top Toolbar

Add slide: You can add a slide for different messages. To change the name of the slide, right click in a blank space and click edit. The following dialog will appear allowing you to edit the slides:

Create Message_slides dialog

Each slide configured here will appear as a new slide when the Message is exported to PowerPoint

Auto-snap to guides: When repositioning items, this snaps their position to align with other Message elements.

Switch Colour: When using a vertical or horizontal delta, changes the colour of the delta marker to either green or red indicating a positive or negative change

Rotate Selection: Rotate the direction of a delta, trend line or reference arrow.

Undo

Redo

Save to Powerpoint