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: Ignoring Other Applications.

Ignoring Other Applications

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 16, 2016)

Normally, Excel works very well with other applications on your system—it is designed to do that. However, you may not want Excel to share information with other applications, for whatever reason. (Perhaps another application is interfering with the way you expect Excel to work.) If this is the case, then you may want to try this step:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Excel displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the General tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The General tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Select the Ignore Other Applications check box.
  5. Click OK.

With the check box selected, Excel won't share DDE information with other applications. (DDE is an acronym for Dynamic Data Exchange, and is the common basis for the way that many applications access the same data.) If you change the setting of the Ignore Other Applications check box, make sure you pay close attention to Excel's behavior—turning off the sharing can have unwanted consequences on the way you use Excel or other programs. Changing the setting won't affect the validity of the answers provided by Excel, it just changes the way that Excel works within the Windows environment.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3046) 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: Ignoring Other Applications.

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. ...

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