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: Turning Off Display of Zeros for All Worksheets.

Turning Off Display of Zeros for All Worksheets

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 2, 2013)

King knows how to turn off the display of zeros in Excel for individual worksheets. He wants to turn it off by default so that every worksheet he opens, zeros are not displayed. If he wants zeros, he knows he can turn on the display of zeros.

One way to get this to happen is to set up your own default workbook. Follow these steps:

  1. Open a new Excel workbook.
  2. Set up the workbook the way you want it to appear, by default. (Make sure you turn off the display of zero values in the Options dialog box.)
  3. Choose Save As from the File menu, or press F12. Excel displays the Save As dialog box.
  4. In the Save As Type pull-down list at the bottom of the dialog box, select Template (*.xlt).
  5. The file name you use should be Book.xlt.
  6. Save your newly created template in the XLStart folder. (Do not save it in the default template folder.)

If you are unsure of where the XLStart folder is located (step 6), use the Find feature of Windows to locate the folder. With the template in that folder, any time you create a new workbook, the settings within the workbook (including whether zero values are displayed or not) should be set according to however they were in the template.

Of course, this approach doesn't help with existing workbooks or with workbooks that you may receive from others. In that case, you may want to adopt the use of a couple of small macros that control the display of zero values.

Sub Display0()
    ActiveWindow.DisplayZeros = True
End Sub
Sub Hide0()
    ActiveWindow.DisplayZeros = False
End Sub

The first macro (Display0) turns on the display of zero values, while the second (Hide0) turns off the display. These could easily be assigned to toolbar buttons or shortcut keys so you don't have to wade through the Options dialog box to turn the display on and off.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12455) 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: Turning Off Display of Zeros for All Worksheets.

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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