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Excel® 2007 Power Programming with VBA by John Walkenbach

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Chapter 4. Understanding Excel’s Files

In This Chapter

These topics are covered in this chapter.

  • A description of the various ways to start Excel

  • A discussion of the files that Excel can open and save

  • An introduction to the new XML file format in Excel 2007

  • Details about how Excel uses the Windows Registry

If you plan to do any advanced work with Excel, it’s critical that you become familiar with some of the internal workings of Excel and understand what happens when the application is launched. It’s also important to have an understanding of the various files used and generated by Excel.

Starting Excel

Excel can be started in various ways, depending on how it’s installed. These include clicking an icon on the Desktop, using the Windows Start button, and double-clicking a file associated with the Excel application. All methods ultimately launch the excel.exe executable file.

When Excel starts, it performs the following actions:

  • It reads its settings stored in the Windows Registry.

  • It opens the *.xlb menu/toolbar customization file.

  • It opens all add-ins that are installed (that is, those that are checked in the Add-Ins dialog box).

  • It opens any workbooks that are in the XLStart directory.

  • It opens any workbooks that are in the alternate startup directory (specified in the Advanced tab of the Excel Options dialog box).

  • It displays an empty workbook — unless the user specified a workbook to open or one or more files were found in the XLStart or alternate startup directory.

Tip

If you want to change ...

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