Excels settings

Information used by Excel 2007 is stored in this Registry section:

HKEY CURRENT USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Excel

Before You Edit the Registry ...

You can use the regedit.exe program to change anything in the Registry, including information that is critical to your system's operation. In other words, if you change the wrong piece of information, Windows may no longer work properly.

Get into the habit of choosing the File Export command in Regedit. This command enables you to save an ASCII version of the entire Registry or just a specific branch of the Registry. If you find that you messed up something, you can always import the ASCII file to restore the Registry to its previous condition (choose the Registry

Import Registry File command). Refer to the Help file for Regedit for details.

In this section of the Registry, you'll find a number of keys that contain specific values that determine how Excel operates.

The Registry settings are updated automatically by Excel when Excel closes.

Note It's important to understand that Excel reads the Windows Registry only once - when it starts up. In addition, Excel updates the Registry settings only when Excel closes normally. If Excel crashes (unfortunately, not an uncommon occurrence), the Registry information is not updated. For example, if you change one of Excel's settings, such as the visibility of the Formula bar, this setting is not written to the Registry until Excel closes by normal means.

Table 4-6 lists the Registry sections that are relevant to Excel 2007. You might not find all these sections in your Registry database.


^ Open table as spreadsheet


^ Open table as spreadsheet



Add-in Manager

Lists add-ins that appear in the Add-Ins dialog box. Add-ins that are included with Excel do not appear in this list. If you have an add-in entry in this list box that you no longer use, you can remove it by using the Registry Editor.


Lists additional (external) file converters that are not built into Excel.

Error Checking

Holds the settings for formula error checking.

File MRU

Holds information about the most recently used files (which appears in the Recent Documents list when you click the Office button).


A catch-all section; holds a wide variety of settings.

Recent Templates

Stores the names of templates you've used recently.


Information used for recovering documents.




Specifies the security options for opening files that contain macros.

Spell Checker

Stores information about your spelling checker options.


Stores the user choices for what appears in the status bar.


Stores information about the user.

Although you can change most of the settings via the Excel Options dialog box, a few settings cannot be changed directly from Excel (but you can use the Registry Editor to make changes). For example, when you select a range of cells, you may prefer that the selected cells appear in high contrast white-on-black. There is no way to specify this in Excel, but you can add a new Registry key like this:

1. Open the Registry Editor and locate this section:


2. Right-click and select New1 I DWORD Value.

3. Name this value Options6.

4. Right-click the Options6 key and select Modify.

5. In the Edit DWORD Value dialog box, click the Decimal option and enter 16 (see Figure 4-10).

Edit DWORD Value

Value name. Qp4ion6

Value data:


O Hexadecimal


; OK !


Figure 4-10: Setting a value for a Registry setting.

When you restart Excel, range selections will appear with a black background rather than gray. If you don't like this look, just delete the Options6 Registry entry.

Tip If you have trouble starting Excel, it's possible that the Registry keys have become corrupt. You can try using the Registry Editor to delete the entire Excel section:


The next time Excel is started, it will rebuild the Registry keys. You will, however, lose all of the customization information that was stored there.



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