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Excel Setup Tips from the Experts

I made a checklist of the Excel settings I change when installing a new version of Excel. Next, I asked a few other Excel experts to share their setup checklists. See which Excel option settings we recommend, and which VBA settings we usually adjust before working with macros.

excel options trust center


When installing a new version of Excel, there are many options and settings that can be adjusted.

Here's what I, and a few other Excel experts recommend, when you're setting up Excel on a new laptop, or installing a new version of Excel.

Thanks to Dick Kusleika, Jon Peltier, Richard, and Doug Glancy for their suggestions.

Excel Options

Here are the experts' 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 the experts' suggestions for changing the Excel VBA Options.

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

On this tab, you can change the font settings for the text in the code window.

Font and Size

These settings affect all the text types.

  • For the Normal Text, I use Consolas (Western) font, with the size set to 14
Code Colors

Code colors can be set individually for each text type

  • Select one of the text types in the list, then choose its foreground, background and indicator colours.
  • You can see a preview in the Sample window, at the right.

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

Get the Sample File

Get the sample Excel Setup Steps workbook that has examples from this page. The zipped file is in xlsx format, and does not contain any macros.

More Tutorials

Excel Add-ins

Workbook Tips

Worksheet Tips

Worksheet VBA




Last updated: March 27, 2023 4:13 PM