How to Change Default Settings in Excel

“Any customer may have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.”                Henry Ford

Modern day product development has come a long way from Henry Ford’s 1909 perspective about customer’s desires! Our lament is often the polar opposite, we now have so many product variations,  our problem is often how to choose between so many choices!

Though many options exist in Excel, new worksheets are created in Excel with default settings which may not suit your company’s style guidelines, the typical spreadsheets you create or even your own personal preferences. If you find yourself making repetitive changes in the spreadsheets you create, why not change the default settings? Here’s how:

1. Identify formatting you would like to set as your default. Examples are font, font size and color, column width, page size, margins, alignment, etc.

2. Search for the location of the XLSTART folder in Programs file hierarchy. Using Windows Explorer, search for XLSTART kind:=folder. Make note of the location. In my Win7 OS and Office installation, my XLSTART folder is c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\XLSTART. Yours may be different.

3. Create a new blank workbook. Make all of your preferred changes.

4. Click File, Save As. Change_Default_1

5. Enter Book as the File Name. Select Excel Template in the Save as Type drop down options. Navigate to the XLSTART folder located in step 2. Click the Save button. The next time that Excel is started and a new workbook is created, it will match your changed settings.


With all due respect Mr. Ford, I think I’ll take my font in PURPLE!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *