Let’s Excel
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Let’s Excel

Microsoft Excel — 5 Default Settings You Want to Change Now

Have you Considered These? Thank Me In The Comments! :-)

Excel Start Screen — Do I need to see this Every. Time.?

1 — Turn off Excel’s Start Screen — By Default, it Opens Each Time

We don’t really want to see the Start screen (image above) each time we open Excel, do we?

But, we mostly accept that “this is the way it is”, click the Blank Workbook and start.

Here’s how to turn it off.

Go to “File → Options → General” and uncheck “Show the Start screen…”

If you DO WANT to access the Start Screen, click on “File →New” when you are in an open workbook and it appears.

2 —When the “Home” Key is Pressed, Go to Cell A1!

For some reason, the default setting in Excel when the “Home” key is pressed is to take you to column A in whatever row you are in (e.g., I’m in J50 — press Home — cursor goes to cell A50).

“CTRL + Home” takes you to A1.

To change this, we simply need to activate a “Lotus Compatibility” setting (it was the default in Lotus — love that spreadsheet back in the day…).

Go to “File → Options → Advanced” and check “Transition navigation keys”

Excel — Lotus Compatibility Settings

3 — Activate the Developer Ribbon Toolbar

Not activated by default — Microsoft obviously considers this an “advanced” setting. But, just the basics of macros and accessing the Visual Basic Editor (don’t let it scare you…).

If you work in Excel, or with workbooks developed by others, you WILL encounter a “macro-enabled” file (the .xlsm extension). So have this Ribbon handy right from the get-go!

Go to “File →Options →Customize Ribbon” setting and check the “Developer” tab on the right side of the screen. Good to go!

Excel — Activate the Developer Ribbon

The following does a great job of stepping though this!

4 — Customize the Quick Access Toolbar (“QAT”)

Reduce the time you spend accessing the Ribbon menus by putting your most frequently accessed items on the QAT toolbar.

Shoot for 5–10 items to get started. It will build from there!

Go to “File →Options →Quick Access Toolbar”. Select commands from the right “menu” and Add>> them to the left. When you close out, they will appear on your QAT.

Excel — Customize the Quick Access Toolbar

Additionally, “right-click” on most Ribbon menu items and a shortcut menu appears — modify your QAT right from here.

Excel — Right-Click Shortcut add to QAT

5 —Change The Auto-Save Time, Depending on Preference

The default auto-save time is 10 minutes.

If you are really cautious, you may want this at 5 minutes. Just know you can change the default setting!

Go to “File →Options →Save”, under “Save workbooks”

Excel — Change the Auto-Save Time Option

There you go. Five items rarely thought about that will pay you dividends every day in your use of Excel!

Are there any you would recommend?

These tips were originally shared in my SnapChat “Daily Tips and Tricks” custom story. Here’s the recap!

Excel 5 Default Settings to Change — Snapchat story — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48aaQMK02nY

About Don

“It’s time for different”

Don is passionate about helping professionals and organizations keep up and adapt to the changing business world that we operate in.

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