DataSmiths is the author of DataSmiths Evolution (an alternate User Interface for Microsoft Excel that increases productivity by 75%) and whose Microsoft-Certified Excel Experts consult on business analysis, presentation and process automation endeavors. <b>Microsoft-Certified Excel Expert Consultants</b>

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Compare the Difference!

Every carpenter, every mechanic, every boat builder ...


- everyone who has ever tried to make something ... or fix something ...

- we all know how important it is ...

... to have "the right tool for the job"..


When it comes to Microsoft Excel, would you rather your Excel "toolkit" looked like this:


Microsoft Excel Default Toolbars:

The default toolbar configuration provided by Microsoft® provides access to only 45 single-click functions (Excel 2003).

... or like this


DataSmiths Evolution:

The image displayed here is the Custom Toolbar Suite produced by the DataSmiths Evolution Application© at a 1024 x 768 pixel resolution for Excel 2003. This version provides the user with a collection of 107 common and custom features, accessible with a single-click.

Compare the 107* single-click functions provided by DataSmiths Evolution (at a 1024 x 768 pixel resolution for Excel 2003) with the 45 functions available in the Microsoft Excel default Toolbar configuration (and note that both toolbars use the same amount of "screen real estate", i.e., 3 rows). The difference in increased functionality provides users with up to a 75% increase in productivity across a unique collection of both commonly-used and custom, macro-driven features that we make available with single-click access, while substantially reducing the number of user key-strokes and mouse-clicks which can contribute to repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.

While the array of features might initially appear intimidating, this product includes: a) an integrated User Guide which orients users to the organization of their tools; b) "mouse-over" tool tips that appear when the cursor hovers over a given function; and c) our innovative "Adaptive Learning" tool which accelerates the learning curve by allowing users to focus on only those functions they have infrequently (or never) used while presenting expanded descriptions of their associated functionality (note, too, that while this product supports 21 configurations of Excel version and Screen Resolution, these Adaptive Learning aids "know" what the user's current configuration is and present only those functions applicable to that environment). Combined, these learning tools will quickly bring users up to speed on their new User Interface.  See our DataSmiths Evolution Features page for a brief description of the additional single-click functionality provided. Note we can also customize DataSmiths Evolution, allowing you to specify your own modifications to the Toolbar Suite or design entirely custom new Toolbar Suites for your Company or individual workgroup (see the Our Services page for details).

* = Since we have also enabled up to 15 of these Toolbar buttons as "Double-Duty functions" that when invoked with the Shift Key, perform different but related functions, there are actually 122 functions we provide in this configuration (vs. the default 45).

Expanded Right-Click Functionality:

In addition to all of the functionality we've built-in to the traditional Toolbar space, you'll also find that our Start-Up Options allow you to enable or disable our custom Right-Click shortcut menus. The menus affected are the "Cell" menu, the "Row" menu, the "Column" menu and the "Ply" (or "Sheet Tab") menu. Right-Clicking any of these elements (i.e., a Cell, a Row, a Column or a Sheet Tab) will invoke our custom menus if enabled or Microsoft's default menus if this Checkbox is cleared. While most of these functions are available elsewhere in our Toolbars, deploying these tools from a Right-Click input can make them available with less "mouse-travel" to reach the top of your screen, thus increasing your productivity even further (for users with large monitors, this can be particularly helpful). Some functions, however (see the Notes), are only available from our custom Right-Click menus. Overall, our custom Right-Click menus provide access to up to 57 (highlighted below) time-saving shortcuts (some of these are duplicated amongst the different menus).




















"Row" Menu:

"Column" Menu:


"Paste" Drop-down Menu:

Adds 6 Additional Shortcuts (XP+)

(Excel 2000 has Paste & Paste Special)



"Ply" (or "Sheet Tab" Menu):


"AutoSum" Drop-down Menu: 

Adds 6 Additional Shortcuts (XP+)

(Excel 2000 has Sum only))




(1) * The "Copy Formula with Exact Reference" function becomes the "Paste Formula with Exact
Reference" after the "Copy Formula with Exact Reference" is invoked. Using this function
negates the normal relative referencing that happens when Cell references are copied from
one cell to another.

(2) * The "*Worksheets Comparison Tool" will display the following Userform:

While the Userform is largely self-explanatory, actually using the tool will serve to demonstrate its power and versatility. Basically, it is a dual-purpose comparison tool, offering: a) the capability to compare two Worksheets in the same or different (but open) Workbooks, producing a third Workbook that compares the first two Worksheets (using either "Formulas A1 Style", "Formulas R1C1 Style" or "Values"); b) the ability to "Arrange Windows" either Horizontally or Vertically but only for the two Worksheets being compared (or optionally these two plus the new Comparison Workbook); or c) the ability to run both options a) and b). The "Windows Arrange" functionality is similar to the "Compare Side by Side with ..." function introduced in Excel 2003 but it is not endowed with the ability to "Synchronize Scrolling" between the Worksheets that the latter possesses - nevertheless, for earlier versions of Excel, it does allow you to position only the two Worksheets of interest so that you can compare them side-by-side.

(3) * The "*Toggle Taskbar On/Off" function is only available when Right-Clicking a Cell while in the "View | Full Screen" mode ("Full Screen" mode can be Toggled On/Off with the "Full Screen\ Close Full Screen" function immediately above it). This function optionally allows more vertical room for your spreadsheet content by temporarily hiding the Windows Taskbar. Also, the normal Windows ALT+TAB shortcut will still allow you to cycle through open applications even with the Taskbar hidden. Note the "*Toggle Taskbar ON/OFF" command is preceded with an asterisk to signify it's macro-enabled status and attendant clearing of your "Undo" history as discussed at the "Tools with Macros" page of our Users Guide. Users can also achieve similar results by selecting to "Auto Hide" the Taskbar (Right-click the Windows "Start" button, then "Properties", then on the Taskbar Tab, select the "Auto-hide the taskbar" option. However, while engaged, "Auto-Hide" works on all applications, all the time, and is activated by the user moving the mouse towards or away from the edge of the space normally occupied by the Taskbar. We felt an "always on" Taskbar is, usually, a productivity boost, but also recognized the occasional need for additional vertical document space - this option allows both (within Excel).

* = These Functions are available only if our custom Right-Click Menus are enabled.


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