- As described in our recent post, our latest Rainbow Pro version 8.1 features a dual-menu system which continues to provide a full menu for experienced users while offering a simple easy-to-use version for users wanting something more straightforward.
- Nearly all Rainbow’s functions give you a dialog box like the one for the Risk Map function as shown above, which explains simply and clearly (in the top left area) what operation Rainbow will perform (and which workbook(s) and worksheet(s) it will operate on) when you click the OK button. Often you will not need to change anything, and you can simply click OK to proceed.
- If you find that you need to change the selected workbook(s) or worksheet(s), just click the Selection… button to bring up an additional dialog box as shown above, where you can quickly and easily select a different workbook and/or select any or all of the worksheets in the workbook.
- You can also see above that all Rainbow’s dialog boxes include a Help button; in fact the Risk Map dialog box has both a general Help button and a specific Help bar for each of the four sets of analysis options. Each Help button brings up a Help window as shown here, which not only gives you specific help on the currently selected function, but also links to a Quick Start Guide if you need a reminder of the basics of using Rainbow. And if the Help window is obscuring what you need to look at on the screen, just click the Minimise button to move it temporarily out of the way.
- Current versions of Rainbow may use multiple colours in each cell to indicate different cell characteristics. If at any time you are not sure about the meaning of the colours that Rainbow has used in a cell, you can just select the cell and click the Find Colours button (or press Alt-Y F) for an immediate explanation. You can see in the screenshot here that the Find Colours dialog box is showing the meaning of the three colours in cell E160, and you can then click the various search buttons to find other single cells or blocks of cells with any or all of the same colours.
- If you find that the default set of colours in Rainbow does not work for you (e.g. if you have some form of colour blindness), you can easily change any of the default colours. You can click any of the colour buttons (labelled Edit…) in the Find Colours dialog box as shown above, or you can click the Colour Chart button on the Rainbow tab and then click the colour you wish to edit. This will bring up the colour editor dialog box as shown here, which will let you change the selected colour, or find instances of it in the current worksheet, or select the previous or following colour to edit. And to prevent duplicates, Rainbow will check and let you know if you try to change a colour to one that already exists in the current set of colours.
- So that you don’t have to write down the summary messages that Rainbow displays after completing its analysis, several Rainbow functions also write their summary messages to the Rainbow Log file, which you can view as shown here just by clicking User Guide and then Rainbow Log. This Rainbow log file window is “non-modal”, meaning that you can leave it open while navigating around the underlying spreadsheet to check the contents of the log. And Rainbow also uses the log file for important support information in the unlikely event of an internal error, to enable us to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
- And finally (though there is a lot more we could add), most of Rainbow’s reports now include hyperlinks which enable you to jump directly to the relevant cell(s) in the spreadsheet you are analysing, and you can then go back to the report with Alt+Tab, so that it becomes very easy to check out the report against the underlying spreadsheet.
One of our users recently remarked that Rainbow Analyst “makes spreadsheets less intimidating”. We hope you will agree!