Microsoft KB Archive/43848

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Excel: Using "Excel Startup" File to Create Default Settings

Last reviewed: November 2, 1994
Article ID: Q43848


You can have any Microsoft Excel version 2.20 worksheet, chart, macro sheet, or workspace load by default by naming it "Excel Startup" and placing it in the System Folder.

When Excel launches, it checks the System Folder for a file called "Excel Startup". If Excel does not find this file, it opens a blank, untitled worksheet named "Worksheet1". If Excel finds a worksheet, chart, macro sheet, or workspace in the System Folder named "Excel Startup", it uses that as the default file.


The following are three common uses of the "Excel Startup" file:

  1. If there are several files that you will always be using in Excel, such as a library of macros or series of worksheets, you can save them in a workspace. By naming this workspace "Excel Startup" and placing it in your System Folder, Excel automatically loads the desired macros and worksheets each time you launch Excel.
  2. You can create an autoexec macro to automatically add custom commands to the menu bars. By designating the macro file as the Startup file, it automatically loads and runs when Excel launches.
  3. By using the "Excel Startup" file, you can also set preferences for how a document prints or displays on the screen. The following preferences can be set as defaults using an "Excel Startup" File:

    a. Page Setup

          Paper Size, Gridlines, Row/Column Headings, Header/Footer,
          Reduction, Margins, Orientation, and Printer Effects

    b. Display

          Formulas/Values, Gridlines, Row/Column Headings, Zero Values,
          and Heading/Gridline Color

To prevent accidentally overwriting the "Excel Startup" file, you can lock the file from the desktop as follows:

  1. Save the file to the System Folder with the name "Excel Startup".
  2. Open the System Folder from the desktop.
  3. Click the file icon once and choose Get Info from the File menu.
  4. Click the box in the upper-right corner labeled "Locked" and close the Get Info window.

If Excel opens a startup document that has been locked, choose Save from the File menu to automatically bring up the Save As dialog box. This will allow you to enter a new name for the edited document. To keep Excel from loading the startup file, either remove it from the System Folder or name it something other than "Excel Startup".

For more information, see pages 583-584 in the "Microsoft Excel Reference" version 2.2 manual.

KBCategory: kbother


Additional reference words: 2.20

Last reviewed: November 2, 1994
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