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Lesson 10 - Changing the Standard Default Options in Excel



Sometimes when working in Excel, it can be handy to set it up in a way that you would most commonly use. In other words, change its default options. To do this, go to Tools>Options. This will display the Options dialogue box. On this dialogue box you will notice that there are multiple page tabs. We will go through the most commonly used options. If however, there is an option on here anywhere that you would like to know about, but are unsure of, just let us know and we will explain it in detail.

The View Tab

Show/Formula Bar

This option simply toggles the Formula Bar to being visible or non-visible. Show/Status Bar

This option simply toggles the status bar to being visible or non-visible. Show/Windows In Taskbar

With this option checked, there will be an icon on your taskbar for each Excel Workbook you have open. The Taskbar is the very bottom one, where your Start button is located. Comments/None

Cell comments are not displayed (discussed in a later lesson). Comments/Comment Indicator Only

Only an indicator in the cell containing the cell comment is shown by default. Comments/Comment and Indicator

Both the comment and its indicator will be visible by default. Objects/Show All

All graphic objects are visible. A graphic object could be a text box, drawing object, inserted picture, etc.

Objects/Show Placeholders

Selecting Show Placeholders means that any pictures or charts are only shown as grey rectangles.

This option will not have any affect on text boxes and other drawing objects. Objects/Hide All

All objects including charts, text boxes, pictures etc. , are not displayed. Window Options/Formulas

Selecting this option will make any formulas in cells visible as opposed to the result of the formula only. This is most commonly used should you wish to print a Worksheet and have all the underlying formulas displayed. Window Options/Gridlines

Toggles the view of the gridlines between on and off. Window Options/Color

Changes the colors of the gridlinesWindow Options/Row and Column Headers

Removes the column letter headings and the row number headings. Window Options/Outline Symbols

Displays outline symbols. (worksheet must contain a previously created outline. Window Options/Zero Values

Toggles between displaying zeros and not displaying zeros. Window Options/Horizontal Scroll Bar

Toggles the horizontal scroll bar on and off. Window Options/Vertical Scroll Bar

Toggles the vertical scroll bar on and off. Window Options/Sheet Tabs

Toggles the display of the sheet name tabs on and off. The Calculation Tab

Note: It is recommended that you leave these options as their default unless you are sure of their definitions. Calculation/Automatic

This means Excel will automatically recalculate whenever necessary. Calculation/Manual

This means Excel will only calculate when we tell it to. To do this manually, you would push the Shortcut key F9. You would basically only ever use this option if you had a very large workbook containing a lot of formulas that was recalculating very slowly.

The Edit Tab Settings/Edit Directly in Cell

There are many ways you can edit a cell. This option allows you to edit a cell by double-clicking. Settings/Allow Drag and Drop

This enables us to perform the Drag and Drop operation as discussed before with Copying and Cutting. Settings/Alert before Overwriting Cells

This option means that if we use the Drag and Drop operation to place the contents of another cell into a cell that already contains data, Excel would display an Alert informing us and giving us the choice as to whether to continue or not. Settings/Move Selection after Enter

As you are probably aware, when you are selected in a cell and you push Enter you are moved to the cell directly below it. We can change this to any of the four directions, that is down, right, up or left. Or, if we uncheck the Move Selection after Enter box, we will not be moved to another cell after pushing EnterSettings/Fixed Decimals

Selecting this option allow us to determine how many decimal places Excel will use by default. In other words, if we selected this option and had the Places set to 2, and then entered the number 2 into any Worksheet cell, we would actually end up with the number 0. 02. Again, unless needed, leave this option unchecked as it can cause confusion. The General TabSettings/Sheets in New Workbook

This lets us determine the number of sheets Excel will automatically place in a new Workbook. Settings/Standard Font

Allows us to determine the font type and size Excel will use by default. Settings/Default File Location

This allows us to determine the location by default that your files will be saved in unless specified otherwise.

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