Xcelsius is a great tool to build interactive what-if scenarios based on MS Excel models. We recently got a request to build such a dashboard and one of the user interface requirements was that the user should be able to change a value by clicking something like a +/- button. Clicking the plus had to increase the value with 1, and clicking the min had to decrease it with 1.
Luckily, Xcelsius provides us the Spinner component. This would have been a good and easy solution, if another requirement wouldn’t have been that the dashboard had to be used on a (multi)touch screen. Touch means big buttons for user input and as you can see on the right, the Spinner component is way too detailed. So we needed something else to do the job.
To solve this we used the new Push Button components. The Push Button simply does what its name says and pushes a value from a source cell to a destination cell. To solve our little problem we used two of these Push Buttons and some basic MS Excel logic.
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In the spreadsheet two formulas and a cell with a start value for the gauge (C2) are created. The formulas add or deduct 1 from C2 (C2+1 and C2-1). After this the Push Buttons have to be bound to these cells. The plus button now gets B2 as Source Data and C3 as destination. After a click on this plus button the value of C2 will increase to 26.
You can download the source file here (via Pay with a Tweet). If the file downloads as a ZIP-file, just rename the .zip into .xlf.