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Changing Your Company Name

When you first install Excel (or Office), you are asked for your name and the name of your organization (company, group, etc.). This information is stored in several places in your system. If you later change the name of your group, it can be no small task to make the changes necessary to change your company name.

Perhaps the easiest way is to simply uninstall Excel (or--heaven forbid--Office) and then install it again, from scratch. (You will see why this is easiest when you learn about the alternative shortly.) If you choose this method, make sure you save your data files before removing Excel. When you reinstall, you can then provide the correct company name for this installation.

If you don't want to uninstall Excel, then you can simply find and change all the places in which the program stores your company name. These include the Registry and INI files. You can change the Registry by using the Registry editor, but make sure you understand that changing the Registry improperly could make your system unstable or unusable. (Sound scary? It needn't be; simply use caution and common sense.) Follow these steps:

  1. Choose Run from the Start menu. This displays the Run dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Run dialog box.

  3. In the Open box, type regedit. This is the name of the Registry editing program.
  4. Click on the OK button. The Registry Editor is started. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The Registry Editor.

  6. Choose Find from the Edit menu, or simply press Ctrl+F. This displays the Find dialog box. (See Figure 3.)
  7. Figure 3. The Registry Editor's Find dialog box.

  8. In the Find What field, enter the name of your company; the one you want to change.
  9. Click on Find Next. The Registry is searched for the company name. When a match is found, it is displayed on the screen.
  10. Analyze what was located to determine if you want to change it. You can figure out what the occurrence is for by looking at the name of the Registry key in which the company name is stored. Your company name could have been stored in the Registry by any number of programs, including Excel.
  11. To make a change, double-click on the Registry value on the right side of the Registry Editor screen. This displays an editing dialog box for the value.
  12. Change the value, then click on OK.
  13. Press F3 to find the next occurrence of your company name.
  14. Repeat steps 7 through 10 until you have made all the changes desired.
  15. Close the Registry Editor.

You might think that you need to restart your system at this point. If the only changes you need to make were in the Registry, then this would be true. However, there are other places you need to change, as well. You can find other occurrences of your company name in files by following these steps:

  1. Choose Find or Search from the Start menu. This displays the Find menu.
  2. Choose Files or Folders from the Find menu. Windows displays the Find dialog box. (This dialog box could be named Search Results, or a slightly different name, depending on your version of Windows.)
  3. In the Look In area, specify where you want the program to look. At a minimum you should look on the C: drive, as well as the drive on which you actually installed Excel. (Chances are good that this will be drive C:, as well.)
  4. Click on the Advanced tab, if one is available.
  5. In the Containing Text box, enter your company name or an unambiguous portion of your company name.
  6. Click on Find Now or Search Now. Windows displays a list of all the files which contain your company name in one way or another.
  7. Examine each of the files, making changes to them as necessary.

It is important that you examine files closely in step 7. The types of files you are looking for is anything that is either obviously for Excel or anything that may be an INI file.

You will also want to search the options and settings in any Excel templates you may have developed. If you choose Options from the Tools menu, and click on the General tab, the User Name box may actually have your company name in it. You should also choose Properties from the File menu, and then click on the Summary tab. The contents of the Company Name box should be changed there.

When you are done, close Excel and restart your system. The company name should appear changed in all instances.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2908) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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