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Recent Option Tabs

The following option tabs were added in Excel 2002; there are no new tabs for 2003.

  • International— The International tab allows you to create number-handling separators different from the default system settings found in the Windows Control Panel. When different separators are chosen, they apply to every workbook until changed again. You can also allow for printing resizing, and viewing specific options from right to left. Notice Figure 27.8. When the View Current Sheet Right-to-Left option is checked, the rows, columns, and worksheet tabs are viewed from the right. When the Right-to-Left option is chosen, each new workbook created from that moment on is viewed right to left. This setting does not affect the currently open workbooks or any previously saved workbooks.

    Figure 27.8. Check the View Current Sheet Right-to-Left option to view the worksheet in the opposite direction.

  • Save— The Save tab allows you to set the AutoRecover feature every x minutes and also turn the AutoRecover feature off with the Disable AutoRecover option. AutoRecover saves the latest revision of your workbook and recovers crashed files. You also have the option to choose the path where all AutoRecovered files are kept. Should Excel crash, all AutoRecovered files appear in a Document Recovery pane the next time you start Excel. You then have the option of opening, saving, deleting, or displaying the repairs of each workbook on the list. The Display Repair option also opens the workbook.

  • Error Checking— The Error Checking tab allows you to enable background error checking and view rules associated with the workbook. Background error checking displays an error indicator—a small triangle (green by default)—in the upper-left corner of each cell containing an error. When a cell containing an error is activated, Excel displays an error symbol—a black exclamation mark inside a yellow diamond—to the left of the cell. Clicking the error symbol displays choices for handling the error.

  • Spelling— The Spelling tab allows you to specify which language to use each time the spelling feature is used. It also allows you to change which dictionary you want added words stored in as well as options for ignoring uppercase text, words with numbers, and Internet and file addresses. Note that Excel cannot create or edit custom dictionaries. To create or edit them, use the Custom Dictionaries button on the Spelling and Grammar tab in Microsoft Word’s Options dialog box. It also accounts for language-specific spelling.

  • Security— The Security tab allows you to create passwords for both Opening and Modifying the Current Workbook. You can also choose to mark the current workbook as read only and attach digital signatures. These features (except for digital signatures) were previously accessible through Excel’s File, Save As command sequence and for compatibility reasons can still be found there.

    The Advanced button allows you to choose which type of encryption method to use for the Open Password option. Note that if the Office 97/2000 Compatible encryption method is not chosen, users of those versions of Office will not be able to open the workbook, even if they know the password.

    Digital signatures are a way of authenticating workbooks. Signatures inform other users that the current revision of the workbook was completed by the author of the signature. Any attempt to alter and save the workbook results in the removal of the signature.

    An example would be if you were in charge of preparing and sending a proposal workbook to a client. You want to ensure that the client does not attempt to alter any of the data prior to approval. You also want the client to know that you were the last person to edit the workbook of prospective clients. For both reasons, you attach your digital signature before sending the workbook to the client. If the client edits and saves the workbook, which removes the signature, and then sends it back to you, you will know the client altered the workbook in some way when you see no signature.

    Finally, the Macro Security button takes you to a dialog box that allows you to choose the level of security you want when workbooks containing macros are opened. This feature can also be found by choosing Tools, Macro.



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