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The new options in Excel 2010

Some new options were added to Excel 2010 which we would like to present in this article. Please note, that the current version of Excel 2010 is a Technical Preview, so some options may be changed, removed or added in the final version. We call call the Excel Options using the Office Backstage. The item “General” in the dialog is selected first, as you can see in the following figure.

Excel 2010 Options

The options remained basically the same as in Excel 2007. However, the option for activating the Developer Tab in the Ribbon was removed. This seems logical, because you can now customize the Ribbons in Excel 2010.

The formula options – second item “Formulas” – remained unchanged too, an interesting option “Allow user-defined XLL functions to run on a compute cluster” ahs been added. This option is inactive on my computer, so I can’t test it. The help text describes this option as follows: “If you have a High Performance Computer (HPC) cluster available for your use, you may use it to remotely run any cluster-safe user defined XLL-functions for increased performance.” Wow, if I understood it correctly, that would mean that I could outsource calculations etc. The options relating to Proofing remained unchanged.

Lets have a look to the options found in “Save”. Excel 2010 add 2 new settings, the first one for keeping the last Auto Recoevered file when closing the document wihout saving and the second one for saving date and time values using the ISO 8601 date format.

Excel 2010 Options

The item “Languages” wasn’t available in Excel 2007 and is completely new to Excel 2010. The previous Office version included a separate tool for setting up the used language for the interface and/or helpfiles. These tasks can now be achieved in the Excel 2010 Options. For example, you can add a new language by clicking on the “Add” button. The new language is installed after you restart Office. For testing purposes, I added “Arabic (Tunesia)”.

Excel 2010  Options

However, when restarting Office, the new language is not active and a suitable keyboard layout is not installed yet. You have to click on “Not Enabled”, a little bit illogical in our opinion, naming the button “Enable keyboard” or something similar should be better. The click on the button opens the Windows system dialog for adding new keyboard layouts; in our case – Windows Server 2008 German – this dialog looks like the following picture. Here, you have to add the language again.

Excel 2010 Options

Please note, that when you close the keyboard layout dialog, the state of the keyboard layout in the list of languages in the Excel Options is not updated until you close and reopen the Excel Options dialog box. If you have an Arabic keayboard you can now use different languages simultaneously.

Excel 2010 Options

The Language Preferences options also allow you to change the display or screen tip language. Lets have now a look on the advanced options of Excel 2010. Some new options were added here, especially for compressing images in Excel sheets, using hardware graphics acceleration or disabling undo for large Pivot tables.

Now it’s really interesting. Yes, they are back: user defined toolbars; however in a modified manner. Lets click on the item “Customize”.

Excel 2010 Options

As you can see on the right side in the following figure, I created an entry “Maninweb”. For achieving this, I clicked on the button “New Tab”. You can add new groups by using “New Group” and move the entries down or up using the buttons with the arrows. You can insert menu entries by selecting them from the list on the left of the dialog and clicking on “Add” or by simply dragging them to your group. Please note, own Macros are also allowed.

Using the button “Restore Defaults”, you can reset all changes to the defaults settings. Your settings can be exported or imported using “Import/Export”. Follwing figures shows the result of our customization:

Excel 2010 Options

When clicking on “Test”, a macro is called and shwos me the Message Box. The options for the “Quick Access Toolbar” (“Customize” in Excel 2007) were unchanged. This applies to the Add-Ins options too.

Concerning the last entry “Trust Center”, we will write another article, since the changes in Excel 2010 are significant. The entry “Resources” in Excel 2007 was removed in Excel 2010.

This article has also been published in German and in English on the following sites:



Hi Bill…

Sorry, unfortunately I was not informed per e-Mail about the comment you posted. So I have only seen it today.

Concerning your question; hmm, I can’t really tell you why this beahaviour happens on your computers. But, perhaps someone can help you on a forum, for example the Microsoft Office 2010 Excel IT Pro Forum

Best Regards 🙂

I can not open any previous version excel spreadsheets in Excel 2010.

Have loaded program on 2 Computers, one works fine, But if I send the spreadsheets from 2010 excel to second computer as email attachments it opens the excel 2010 spreadsheet but no text.

Could I be missing an update on the second computer?

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