Customizing Excel

Working in Excel can be a personalized experience if you configure Excel to your preferences. The appearance of Excel and what is readily accessible on the various screens is mostly up to you. Explore the tips in these articles to discover the ways you can personalize Excel to be the best spreadsheet program for your needs.

Tips, Tricks, and Answers

The following articles are available for the 'Customizing Excel' topic. Click the article''s title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.

   Adding a Little Animation to Your Life
Tired of the same old boring Excel look? You can add some life to your worksheets by introducing some animation. Here's what Excel can do and how you can use this feature to add some excitement to your project.

   Changing Excel's Background Color
Excel doesn't provide a built-in means to change the standard background color of a worksheet. There are a few different ways you can work around this limitation, however. This tip discusses several methods to get just the color you want.

   Changing Gridline Color
Gridlines are very helpful in seeing where cells are located on the screen. You are not limited to black gridlines; here’s how to change them to a color of your choosing.

   Colors and Fonts for Worksheet Tabs
Changing the color used on a worksheet tab is easy. Just follow the three steps in this tip.

   Controlling Display of the Formula Bar
The Formula Bar is a regularly used feature in the Excel interface. You can, however, modify whether Excel displays the Formula Bar or not.

   Controlling the Display of Toolbars
The various toolbars available in Excel are indispensable when it comes to easily accomplishing tasks. Here is a concise explanation of how you can control which toolbars Excel displays.

   Creating Superscript and Subscript Buttons
Want a quick way to apply superscript and subscript to selected text within a cell? This tip shows how the formatting can be done through a user form and a small set of macros.

   Cycling through Colors
Excel includes quite a few tools that are not normally accessible through the various toolbars. One such esoteric tool is one that allows you to quickly cycle through the colors that can be applied to a cell. This tip explains how to make this handy tool accessible.

   Default Worksheet when Opening
When opening a workbook, you may want to make sure that a particular worksheet is always displayed first. The only way to ensure this is through the use of a macro, described here.

   Defining and Using Custom Colors
Want to spice up your worksheets with your own custom colors? Here's how to define them easily.

   Easily Deploying Customizations
When you create a whole set of customizations for Excel, you may want to share them with others in your office or workgroup. This tip provides some guidance on how you can best do that.

   Enlarging the Formula Bar
The Formula bar is used to display the formula that appears in a cell. You may want to modify how the Formula bar is displayed. Your modification options are limited, but you can always hide the Formula bar completely.

   Setting the AutoRecover Directory
Excel, by default, periodically writes information to AutoRecover files that can help protect your data in case Excel is ended abnormally. You can specify where you want these AutoRecover files stored by using the information in this tip.

   Specifying the Behavior of the Enter Key
When you press Enter while adding information to a worksheet, Excel normally drops to the next cell down in the column. You have complete control over what Excel really does after an Enter, as described in this tip.

   Turning Off Display of Zeros for All Worksheets
Some people like zero values displayed; others do not. Excel allows you to easily turn the display on or off for a single workbook. Here are some ideas for doing it for all workbooks.

   Turning on Placeholders
A large number of graphics in a worksheet can slow down Excel. One way to compensate is to turn on picture placeholders, an easy setting that displays placeholders instead of the actual graphics.

   Understanding Manual Calculation
When you make changes in a worksheet, Excel automatically recalculates everything that may be affected by that change. If your worksheet is complex or huge, having the program recalculate after every change can slow down data entry. Here's how to force Excel to only recalculate when you want to recalculate.

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