User FAQs

If you have a question, please send it to us.

1) Is there any Microsoft documentation for Excel ?

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2) Is there a forum for questions about Excel ?
Post your questions in the Microsoft Q&A forum with the topic "office-excel-itpro".

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There is also a forum on techcommunity. The Excel hub forum with the label "Macros and VBA".

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There is also a forum on Microsoft Community.

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There is also a forum on Stack Overflow with the tag "vba".

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There are also two very popular independent forums.

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3) What is the difference between the file extensions '.xlsx' and '.xlsm' ?
.xlsx - an XML based default file format.
.xlsm - an XML based file format that can contain macros.

4) What is the '.xlsb' file format ?
This is a binary based file format that can contain macros but not ribbon customisations.

5) Are there any advantages or disadvantages to saving a workbook with the '.xlsb' file extension ?
*) File size might be smaller
*) Read from and Write to is faster
*) Formulas larger than 8192 characters can be saved
*) The individual files contained in the xml zip package are compressed binary files and not readable xml.
*) Power Query cannot read data saved in an XLSB workbook.

6) Is there a way to force Excel to always use manual calculation ?
Yes. Create an Excel template the filename Book.xltx and save it in one of the startup folders.

7) Is there a way to close all my open workbooks at once without having to close them one at a time ?
Yes. Hold down Shift and click on the X (cross) in the top right corner of one of the open workbooks (or windows).

8) What is the largest Excel file you can have ?
Either for a single workbook or a combination of open workbooks.
32 Bit - Excel 2013 / 2016 - 2 GB of memory.
64 Bit - Excel 2013 / 2016 - no hard limit. Workbook size is limited only by available memory and system resources.

9) What changes could you make to reduce the file size of a workbook ?
*) Check the last used cell on each worksheet and delete any redundant blank rows and columns.
*) Check for hidden worksheets and remove out of date sheets.
*) Compress or remove images and pictures.
*) Reduce the size of pivot tables.
*) Optimise formulas and remove array formulas.
*) Remove any unnecessary formatting and use consistent formatting across worksheets.
*) Remove conditional formatting.

10) What are the differences between OneDrive and SharePoint ?
OneDrive is your personal cloud storage (although you can still share files)
SharePoint is your collaborative cloud storage (can include files from Outlook, Teams and Yammer)

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