by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 16, 2016)
Excel, like all Office Applications, is highly customizable. This means that you can change menus, toolbars, and other user interface options quite easily. (In fact, you can make Excel look completely different if you want to.)
As you make changes to your toolbars, Excel keeps track of the changes in a file called Excel.xlb. (The name of the file can vary depending on your version of Excel, but will always end in the .xlb filename extension. For instance, in Excel 2002 the file is called Excel10.xlb and in Excel 2003 it is Excel11.xlb.) The contents of the file are updated whenever you quit your Excel session.
It is interesting to note that this particular filename extension (.xlb) is only used by Excel for this one file. This means it is very easy to locate the file (use the Find File feature of Windows) and then copy the file to a safe location.
If, at some later time, your toolbars become corrupted in Excel, you can quit the program and copy the backup version of your.xlb file over the top of the corrupted file. This should then restore everything to the proper state when you again start Excel.
As a side note, you can copy toolbar configuration from one Excel installation to another by simply copying the Excel.xlb file from one system to another. The only thing you should do is make sure that both installations of Excel are of the same version. Thus, you would not want to copy an Excel.xlb file from Excel 2002 and use it in an Excel 97 installation.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2557) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.
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