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The Excel Options Dialog

In previous versions of Excel, many options were controlled through either Tools, Options or Tools, Customize dialog. Tools, Customize was the important place to turn off the adaptive menus and to customize the toolbars. Tools, Options led to the busiest dialog box in Excel; the Options dialog has 173 settings on 14 tabs. In addition, the Options dialog had six buttons that would take you to further dialogs. It was a challenge to find something specific in the old Options dialog.

Microsoft has completely redesigned the Excel Options dialog for Excel 2007 (as it has the Options dialogs for the rest of Office 2007). Microsoft had the following goals for the Options dialogs for all the Office products:

  • Show the most important settings earlier and more clearly so that they can be found. Most of the items you need to change are now found in the Popular, Formulas, Proofing, and Save categories.
  • Move the arcane functions to an Advanced category.
  • Add ToolTip icons next to many items so you can understand exactly what those settings do.
  • Make it clear whether a setting affects all workbooks, the current workbook, or the current worksheet.