Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Opening existing files in Excel works much the same as it does in any Windows
program. To get to the standard Open dialog box, choose File ➝ Open (or use the
keyboard shortcut Ctrl+O). Using the Open dialog box, you can browse to find the
spreadsheet file you want, and then click Open to load it into Excel.
Excel can open many file types other than its native .xlsx format. To learn the other
formats it supports, launch the Open dialog box and, at the bottom, open the “Files
of type” menu, which shows you the whole list. If you want to open a file but you
don’t know what format it’s in, try using the first option on the menu, “All Files.”
Once you choose a file, Excel scans the beginning of the file and informs you about
the type of conversion it will attempt to perform (based on what type of file Excel
thinks it is).
Note: Depending on your computer settings, Windows might hide file extensions. That means that
instead of seeing the Excel spreadsheet file MyCoalMiningFortune.xlsx, you’ll just see the name
MyCoalMiningFortune (without the .xlsx part on the end). In this case, you can still tell what the file type is by looking
at the icon. If you see a small Excel icon next to the file name, that means Windows recognizes that the
file is an Excel spreadsheet. If you see something else (like a tiny paint palette, for example), you need to
make a logical guess about what type of file it is.
Opening Recent Documents
Plan to take another crack at a recent spreadsheet? You can find the most recently
opened documents in Excel’s Recent Documents list. To see this list, just choose
File ➝ Recent. The list holds 20 files. The best part about the Recent Documents list
is the way you can pin a document there so it stays forever, as shown in Figure 14-25.
You can put recent documents even closer at hand by switching on the “Quickly
access this number of Recent Workbooks” checkbox, which you’ll find underneath
the list of recent documents. You can then enter a number in the adjacent box. For
example, if you use 4 (the standard value), the four most recently used workbooks
will appear directly in the column of commands on the left side of Excel’s backstage
view. That means that if one of them is named MyFavoriteFile.xlsx , you can open it
by choosing File ➝ MyFavoriteFile.xlsx, rather than choosing File ➝ Recent, and then
clicking MyFavoriteFile.xlsx in the recent files list.
Tip: Do you want to hide your recent editing work? You can remove any file from the recent document
list by right-clicking it and choosing “Remove from list.” And if the clutter is keeping you from finding the
workbooks you want, just pin the important files, then right-click any file and choose “Clear unpinned
workbooks.” This action removes every file that isn’t pinned down.