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Excel Top Tip #7 - Set up Excel just for you

Here is the email sent to all subscribers on 19 November 2020. To receive Excel top tips just like this, you can subscribe by clicking here.


The past few FInEx emails have been focussed on helping you to build your professional toolkit and answer all those "is there a better way to..." questions within your team, covering topics including: how to hold an effective team Q&A session to develop internal Excel Masters, and more recently, tricks for working with online data, PDFs, CSV, TSV, email or encrypted files.

Continuing this theme, this time we're asking: Are you getting started with a fresh installation of Excel? Or struggling through without setting it up just right for you? Setting up Excel the way you like it can be a time consuming task, especially if the defaults you’re used to have changed and you haven’t ever had to change the options before, or perhaps each time you see that welcome screen only to select a spreadsheet every time, you wish you could set it up better.

There are hundreds of setup options available, but here are the key ones that can make the difference between an efficient Excel user, and the constant nagging feeling that Excel should be better. All of these can be found from the File -> Options window:

username (from ‘general’)

This is the name that is used in the file properties, to notify someone else if you’re both accessing the same Excel file, and to auto fill the author of a cell comment, it can be handy to update this as your name or company, or leave it blank.

show start screen (from ‘general’)

Are you always starting with a blank spreadsheet? Then open one straight away every time you open Excel without having to select it.

error checking rules (from ‘formulas’)

Constantly seeing the warning icon that you have ‘inconsistent formulas’? Turn off this check here and Excel in peace.

screentips (from ‘ease of access’)

Getting distracted by help prompts that you no longer need? This is where you can turn them off.

after pressing ’enter' move cell… (from ‘advanced’)

Which cell gets selected when you press enter? There’s seldom a good choice covering all spreadsheets between down or right, so we suggest deselecting this checkbox to leave the last edited cell selected.

alert on fill or drag and drop (from ‘advanced’)

Happy that you won’t be overwriting cells unless you want to? Then deselect this option to save yourself the distraction of another unnecessary prompt.

remove page break lines (from ‘advanced’)

These lines can appear mysteriously with no obvious way to remove them. This is how.

Setting up Excel to save yourself a few seconds of distraction is well worth the effort. Forward this to any newcomers - it’s rarely taught and will help get them off to a good start!

Thank you,

The StatementReader Team

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