Excel Setup Tips

Excel experts share their setup tips when installing a new version of Excel. They recommend which option settings to change, favourite addins to install, and VBA settings to adjust.


When installing a new version of Excel, there are many options and settings that can be adjusted. On my Debra D's Blog, I asked people to remind me what I should change, when setting up Excel on my new laptop.

Several people helped, and that made it much easier to get up and running. Thanks to Dick Kusleika, Jon Peltier, Richard, Doug Glancy for their suggestions.

Since you don't install Excel too often, it's handy to have a checklist to follow, instead of trying to remember all the steps. I hope these lists help you too!

Excel Options

Here are suggestions for changing the Excel Options. You might prefer different settings, so adjust this list to suit your own preferences

To open the Excel Options window,

  • Click the File tab, at the top left of the Excel window
  • Click the Options link, at the bottom left


  • User Interface>Show Mini Toolbar on selection: uncheck
  • User Interface>Show Quick Analysis options on selection: uncheck
  • When creating>Include this many sheets: 1
  • Startup>Show the Start screen when this application starts: uncheck

excel options general


  • Use GetPivotData functions for PivotTable references: uncheck

excel options formulas


  • Editing>After pressing enter, move selection: uncheck
  • Editing>Allow editing directly in cells: uncheck
  • Cut,Copy>Show Paste Options button when content is pasted: uncheck
  • Cut,Copy>Show Insert Options buttons: uncheck
  • Display>Show this number of Recent Workbooks: 50
  • General>Provide feedback with animation (2016): uncheck
  • General>Ask to update automatic links: uncheck
  • General>Edit Custom Lists: Add your own custom lists for sort and fill -- download the sample file for a few examples

excel options advanced

Customize Ribbon

  • Show the Developer tab
  • Click Import/Export, click Export all customizations. On new computer, Import customization file.

excel options ribbon

Trust Center

  • Click Trust Center Settings
  • Macro Settings>Trust access to the VBA project object model: check

excel options trust center

Excel VBA Options

Here are suggestions for changing the Excel VBA Options. You might prefer different settings, so adjust this list to suit your own preferences

To open the Excel VBA Options window,

  • In Excel, press Alt+F11 on the keyboard, to open the Visual Basic Editor
  • Click the Tools menu, then click Options

excel options trust center

Editor Tab

  • Code Settings> Auto Syntax Check: uncheck
  • Code Settings> Require Variable Declaration: check
  • Code Settings> Tab Width: 2
  • Windows Settings> Procedure Separator: uncheck

excel vba options editor

Editor Format Tab

  • Code Colors> Normal Text: Consolas (Western)
  • Code Colors> Selection Text>Background: Cyan
  • Code Colors> Breakpoint Text>Background: Magenta
  • Code Colors> Breakpoint Indicator: Dark Purple

excel vba options editor format

General Tab

  • Form Grid> Grid width and height: 3 points

excel vba options general

Docking Tab

  • Dockable> Immediate Window: uncheck
  • Dockable> Locals Window: uncheck

excel vba options general

Recommended Excel Add-ins

Here are a few of the Excel add-ins that the experts use. Some are free, and others are paid.

Excel Add-ins

Contextures Excel Tools

Contextures Pivot Power Prem

Fast Excel


Name Manager

Peltier Tech Chart Utilities

Excel VBA Add-ins


Smart Indenter

VBA Code Cleaner

Download the File

Download the sample file with lists of the recommended option settings changes, and the Excel add-ins. The file also has lists that can be imported into the Custom List feature, to be used for sorting, and filling a range on the worksheet. The zipped file is in xlsx format, and does not contain macros.

More Tutorials

Workbook Tips

Worksheet Tips

Worksheet VBA



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Last updated: June 15, 2017 1:38 PM