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Chapter 28. Customizing Excel to Fit You... > Changing the Default Excel Settings

Changing the Default Excel Settings

Excel enables you to customize a number of the default settings for the program. Each of these features is controlled by settings in the Options dialog box. To open this dialog box, choose Tools, Options. The following list describes some suggested changes:

  • Move data entry in a different direction. By default, when you press Enter after typing a cell entry, Excel accepts the entry and moves down to the next cell in that column. In many workbooks, however, moving to the next cell to the right, left, up, or even disabling this option completely would be more useful. You can change the direction that the cell pointer (page 7) moves. Click the Edit tab in the Options dialog box. In the Direction box, select the direction you want the cell pointer to move, as shown in Figure 28.1. To prevent the cell pointer from moving, deselect the Move Selection After Enter option.

    Author's Note

    When entering data using the Enter key, you can control direction in a limited area of the worksheet by selecting that area first. As you enter the data, Excel moves down until you reach the bottom of the first column in the selection and then moves to the top of the next column, and so on.

  • Control the default number of sheets in a workbook. By default, Excel creates new workbooks (page 862) with three blank worksheets (page 862). You may prefer to start with fewer sheets or more sheets. To change the default number of worksheets in a new workbook, click the General tab in the Options dialog box. In the Sheets in New Workbook box, type or select the number of sheets you want (see Figure 28.2).

    Figure 28.1. Change the direction of data entry.

    Figure 28.2. You can customize the number of sheets that appear in a new workbook by changing this setting.

  • Set the default font and point size. Excel defaults to a standard Arial font, but you can change the default font settings to something more appropriate. Click the General tab in the Options dialog box, and change the settings for Standard Font and Size, as shown in Figure 28.3. When Excel displays a warning message that this change affects all future workbooks, confirm that you want to use the new setting as the default, or cancel the change.



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