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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Page Orientation - 2 Ways to Change It.

The other day, I was sitting there changing the page orientation in Excel to LANDSCAPE AGAIN and thought AGAIN that there has to be a better way. I was also doing a lot of muttering about Microsoft and why the heck they have the default as portrait instead of LANDSCAPE anyway. Seriously, how often do you change your page orientation and think why am I doing this AGAIN?

Anyway.. I digress... of course I am thinking that I should stop being so lazy and complaining and just change it. So, I am sitting here thinking about changing something in Options or creating a macro because even though I use templates and create them from time to time - I totally spaced it and did not consider the obvious solution.  I was discussing this with some members of the Excel BlackBelts group on LinkedIN and of course a number of people immediately pointed out that I should just create a template or edit the existing  template.
(Great group by the way- if you are looking for an intermediate to advanced Excel group).

James Travers, a member of ExcelBlackBelts, gave me such as great example that I knew a lot of you would find it useful. His comment is below:

The default workbook is a template file called book (with the appropriate template extension .xlt, .xltx or .xltm) .
The default worksheet is a template file called sheet (again with the appropriate extension). These are in your xlstart folder which by default is in (on an XP machine) c:\Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\XLStart or c:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART but you can specify a different one in Excel Options.

Any other workbooks that are in that folder are automatically loaded on Excel start up.
I have my defaults set up with the company standard header & footer, print settings, corporate theme, cell styles, pivot, slicer & table styles. I also have an add-in to apply these settings to any other workbook on 1 click of a custom ribbon command button.

We've rolled the same settings out to the entire company through a log-on script meaning that all workbooks that get created now automatically have the correct format and any legacy workbooks can be updated with 1 click.

If you are interested in the add-in, feel free to contact James Travers, on LinkedIN.

If you can't change your template due to network restrictions etc, another option that was pointed out is to add the Orientation button to the Ribbon. To do this, go to File>Options and select Customize Ribbon. From the Choose Command from drop-down arrow, select All Commands. Scroll down and click on the first Orientation icon. Click Add and specify where on the Ribbon you want it to display. When you go back to Excel you will see the Orientation icon on the ribbon and when you click on it, you have the option of Landscape or Portrait.
Be still my heart..........look how much clicking this is going to save you!

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