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Excel What Happened to Tools, Options?

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What Happened to Tools, Options?

Problem: Where is the Excel 2003 Options command? Did Microsoft simplify the 13-tabbed Options dialog?

Strategy: Instead of Options, Microsoft now provides an Excel Options dialog. You access it with File, Options.


Figure 9 Excel Options has 10 categories instead of 13 tabs.

The new Excel Options dialog has 9 categories instead of the previous 13 tabs. It incorporates most settings that used to be in the Options dialog, plus Tools, AutoCorrect, Tools, Macro, Security, Tools, Add-Ins, and many options from the old Help menu.

In what seems like a confusing move, Excel took a few options from the old General tab, combined them with some new options, and moved them to the General category in the Excel Options dialog. In Excel 2007, this was called Popular.

The Advanced category in Excel 2010 offers 10 different sections. You will find that many of the former tabs from the Excel 2003 Options dialog have moved to the Advanced category in Excel 2010. Instead of flipping from tab to tab to tab in Excel 2003, you can scroll through the long list of Advanced options in Excel 2010.

The following table maps the Excel 2003 Options dialog tabs to the Excel 2010 Excel Options dialog categories:


The final four categories in the Excel Options dialog do not correspond to the Excel 2003 Options dialog:

  • Customize Ribbon: For adding groups to the ribbon
  • Quick Access Toolbar: For adding icons to the Quick Access toolbar
  • Add-Ins: For managing add-ins (similar to Tools, Add-Ins in Excel 2003)
  • Trust Center: For managing security and much more

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