Setting Options in Excel

When you work with Excel, you work with numbers and calculations. As you learn in the Excel section of this book (Part V), Excel is a number cruncher. It is built to do math and provide you with correct results when it does calculations.

Two of the options that you might want to adjust related to Excel specify when it recalculates all the formulas in an Excel workbook and the rules that it uses to check for errors in an Excel worksheet.

Follow these steps:

  1. In Excel, select Tools and then select Options . The Options dialog box opens.

  2. Click the Calculation tab on the Options dialog box (see Figure 6.4).

    Figure 6.4. Set options related to calculations on the Calculation tab.


  3. When you work with very large worksheets and worksheets that are linked to other Excel workbook files, your worksheet is recalculated every time you change or add data on the worksheet. If you have a computer with marginal processing power and memory, this process can take a while. You can turn off the automatic recalculation feature on the Calculations tab by clicking the Manual option button. If you do this, you must press F9 to make Excel recalculate the sheet.

  4. You might want to look at another set of options on the Error Checking tab (click it). This tab contains a list of errors that Excel can automatically check for as you work on your worksheet (see Figure 6.5).

    Figure 6.5. Error checking helps make sure that your worksheet data is entered correctly.


  5. To set a default color for errors found in a worksheet, click the Error Indicator Color drop-down box and select a color from the color palette (because the Spelling Checker and smart tags use red, don't pick red).

  6. You should probably leave the error rules listed all in force. However, notice in Figure 6.5 that the Formulas Referring to Empty Cells check box is not selected. This is because you typically enter formulas into worksheets even before data is entered. After creating a worksheet, you might want to select this option, especially if you are working on a large, complex worksheet. This ensures that you get all the data into the appropriate cells, or Excel will start sending error messages your way.

  7. When you have finished setting these options, click OK to close the Options dialog box (or Cancel to discard changes).

Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Year: 2002
Pages: 660
Authors: Joe Habraken

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