Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Setting a Default File Format.

Setting a Default File Format

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 27, 2020)

Normally, Excel saves your worksheets in the workbook format that is appropriate for the version of the software you are using. This means that your worksheets are stored in a peculiar way that is understood by your version of Excel but may not be understood by other programs—including earlier versions of Excel.

If you do a lot of work with people who use other versions of Excel or who use a different spreadsheet program, you may want to specify a different default file format for your files. Excel makes this easy; just follow these steps:

  1. Display the Excel Options dialog box. (In Excel 2007 click the Office button and then click Excel Options. In Excel 2010 and later versions, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click the Save option at the left side of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Save option of the Excel Options dialog box.

  4. Use the Save Files In This Format drop-down list to select a default file format.
  5. Click OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10480) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Setting a Default File Format.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Sizing Text Boxes and Cells the Same

Adding a text box to a worksheet is easy. Making sure that text box is the exact size of a cell in the worksheet may not ...

Discover More

Entering or Importing Times without Colons

Enter a time into a cell and you normally include a colon between the hours and minutes. If you want to skip that pesky ...

Discover More

Translating Documents

Need some help getting your document translated into a different language? Docs has a built-in translation tool that can ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Specifying the Behavior of the Enter Key

You type information in a cell and press Enter. What happens then? Excel allows you to specify exactly what should ...

Discover More

Disabling Shift+Ctrl

Both Excel and Windows have scores of defined shortcut keys. This can be great for productivity, but it can be a real ...

Discover More

Displaying Excel's Developer Tab

The Developer tab of the ribbon is the gateway to many advanced features in Excel, including those features related to ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight more than 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.