Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Seeing Excel's Program Window.

Seeing Excel's Program Window

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 17, 2018)

Have you ever opened Excel, only to be greeted by a program window that was obviously too big for your screen? For example, you may see only the top left portion of the program window, with Excel's title bar missing off the top of the visible screen. Typically such a condition crops up when, for whatever reason, you decrease the resolution at which the Windows screen is displayed. For instance, if you had been viewing your screen at 1024 x 768 and you decrease your screen resolution to 800 x 600. When you later try to open Excel, it may appear off the top of the screen because it is "larger" than the available space on the desktop.

The first solution that springs to mind is that you can simply switch back to the higher resolution, open Excel and make the window smaller, and then switch back to the lower resolution. If this is not possible for some reason, then you must select a different way to accomplish the task.

One method you can try is by using the window controls. Since you cannot see them (they are accessible through the Control menu at the upper-left corner of the program window) because they are off the screen, you must use the keyboard. Follow these steps:

  1. Press Alt+Spacebar. This displays the Control menu (even if you cannot see it).
  2. Press the letter R; the Excel window is restored to its "in between" size.
  3. Press Alt+Spacebar to again display the Control menu.
  4. Press the letter X; the Excel window is maximized.

You might think that the last two steps would revert Excel back to its oversized condition. Instead, it forces Excel to calculate the correct size of the desktop and to set the maximum window size accordingly. If you would rather use the mouse than the keyboard, you can follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the Excel task on the task bar. Windows displays a Context menu.
  2. Choose Restore from the Context menu. The Excel window is restored to its "in between" size.
  3. Again right-click on the Excel task on the task bar. Windows again displays a Context menu.
  4. Choose Maximize from the Context menu.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2079) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Seeing Excel's Program Window.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Header and Footer Data Codes

When creating headers and footers in an Excel worksheet, you can use special codes to add or format information. This tip ...

Discover More

Hiding Columns Based on a Cell Value

Need to hide a given column based on the value in a particular cell? The easiest way to accomplish the task is to use a ...

Discover More

Finding Text Using a Specific Highlighting Color

If you use the highlighter tool extensively, you may want to search for text that is highlighted using a particular ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Changing Your Company Name

The installation process for Office and Excel allows you to specify a company name. If your company name later changes, ...

Discover More

Finding the Number of Significant Digits

When looking at a number, you may wonder how many significant digits it contains. The answer is not always an easy one, ...

Discover More

Changing Horizontal Orientation

One of the international features of Excel is the ability to switch the orientation of how information is presented. This ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven minus 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.