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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Using the Full-Screen File Menu

Open the File menu in Excel 2013 and you might be shocked to see that it takes up 100% of your screen real estate. This panel is called the Backstage view and was introduced in Excel 2010. Here is the logic: When you are working on most ribbon tabs, you are working in your document. When you are about to change the font or something like that, you want to see the results of the change for the “in” commands. However, the Excel team feels that after you move to the File menu, you are done working in your document and you are about to do something with the whole document, such as send the workbook, print the workbook, post the workbook to Twitter, and so on. Microsoft calls these the “out” commands. The theory is that you don’t need to see the worksheet for the “out” commands, so Microsoft fills the entire screen with the File menu.

To open the Backstage view, click the File menu. The Backstage view fills the screen, as shown in Figure 3.25. Backstage is split into three sections: the narrow left navigation panel and two wider sections that provide information.

Figure 3.25

Figure 3.25. The Backstage view fills the entire screen.

The left navigation panel includes these commands:

  • Info—Provides information about the current workbook. This is discussed later in the “Getting Information About the Current Workbook” section.
  • New—Used to create a new workbook or start from a template. Discussed in Chapter 1.
  • Open—Used to access a file stored on your computer or the SkyDrive. Discussed in Chapter 1.
  • Save—Saves the file in the same folder as it was previously stored. Note that Save is actually a command instead of a panel in Backstage.
  • Save As—Stores the file on your computer or in the SkyDrive. Discussed in Chapter 1.
  • Print—Used to choose print settings and print. Includes Print Preview. Discussed in Chapter 36, “Printing.”
  • Share—Used to post your workbook to Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn or to send it via email. Discussed in Chapter 36.
  • Export—Used to create a PDF, control web publishing options, or change the file type. Discussed in Chapter 37, “Excel Web App and Other Ways to Share Workbooks.”
  • Close—Closes the current workbook. Like Save, this entry is a pure command.
  • Account—Connects your copy of Excel to various social networking accounts. Discussed in Chapter 1.
  • Options—Contains pages of Excel settings. See Chapter 4, “Customizing Excel,” for details.
  • Recent File List—This list appears only if you’ve changed a default setting in Excel Options. Visit File, Options, Advanced Display and choose Quickly Access This Number of Recent Workbooks.

Pressing the Esc Key to Close Backstage View

To get out of Backstage and return to your worksheet, you can either press the Esc key or click the back arrow in the top-left corner of Backstage.

Recovering Unsaved Workbooks

As in previous versions of Excel, the AutoSave feature can create copies of your workbook every n minutes. If an AutoSave version of your workbook exists, you can now access that file using the Recover Unsaved Workbooks icon at the bottom of the Recent Workbooks list. Note that you might have to scroll down to the bottom of the Recent Workbooks list to find the Recover Unsaved Workbooks icon (see Figure 3.26).

Figure 3.26

Figure 3.26. If you set Excel to display more recent workbooks than will fit on the screen, you have to scroll down to find the Recover Unsaved Workbooks icon.

Do you ever get to the end of your workday, use Alt+F+X to close Excel, and then are greeted with a barrage of Do You Want to Save questions? I frequently forget that the nth workbook that I have open is not saved. I think that I had opened these workbooks to get information, that I had not made any significant changes, and will either start clicking Don’t Save repeatedly or will hold down Shift and click Don’t Save, which is equivalent to clicking the nonexistent Don’t Save to All selection.

As I see that important file get closed, I realize that I just lost all my changes to that file and cringe. This is a common problem that happens to everyone sooner or later. Provided that the file was open long enough to experience an AutoSave, you might be able to get the file back.

Go to Recover Unsaved Workbooks and find the date and time of the last AutoSave. It might be within 5 minutes of the last time you edited a cell in that document. When you find the file and open it, the Information Bar reports that this is a “recovered unsaved file” (see Figure 3.27). Click Save As to give the file a name.

Figure 3.27

Figure 3.27. Excel recovers the file. You need to use Save As to make the recovery permanent.

Clearing the Recent Workbooks List

If you need to clear out the Recent Workbooks list, you should visit File, Options, Advanced, Display. Set the Show This Number of Recent Documents list to zero. This is unlike the behavior in Excel 2003. In Excel 2003, to clear out the ninth item from the list, you had to reset only the number of files back to eight and Excel would forget about the ninth. In Excel 2013, if you switch from 50 files to one file, then back to 50 files, all 50 files will come back. The only way to clear the Recent Workbooks list is to set the value back to zero. You can then reset it to 50 and Excel will start collecting history again.

Getting Information About the Current Workbook

When a workbook is open and you go to the File menu, you start in the Info gallery for that workbook. As shown in Figure 3.28, the Info pane lists all sorts of information about the current workbook:

  • The workbook path is shown at the top of the center panel.
  • You can see the file size.
  • You can see when the document was last modified and who modified it.
  • If any special states exist, these will be reported at the top of the middle pane. Special states might include the following:
    • Macros not enabled
    • Links not updated
    • Checked out from SharePoint
      Figure 3.28

      Figure 3.28. The Info gallery includes all of the properties of the file.

    • You can see if the file has been AutoSaved and recover those AutoSaved versions.
    • You can mark the document as final, which will cause others opening the file to initially have a read-only version of the file.
    • You can edit links to other documents.
    • You can add tags or categories to the file.
    • Using the Check for Issues drop-down, you can run a compatibility checker to see if the workbook is compatible with legacy versions of Excel. You can run an accessibility checker to see if any parts of the document will be difficult for people with disabilities. You can run a Document Inspector to see if any private information is hidden in the file.

Marking a Workbook as Final to Prevent Editing

Open the Protect Workbook icon in the Info gallery to access a setting called Mark as Final (see Figure 3.29). This marks the workbook as read-only. It prevents someone else from making changes to your final workbook.

Figure 3.29

Figure 3.29. Mark a document as read-only.

Of course, if the other person visits the Info gallery, that person can reenable editing. This feature is simply designed to warn the other people that you’ve marked it as final and no further changes should happen.

If you can convince everyone in your workgroup to sign up for a Windows Live ID, you can use the Restrict Permission by People setting. This layer of security enables you to define who can read, edit, and/or print the document.

Finding Hidden Content Using the Document Inspector

The Document Inspector can find a lot of hidden content, but it is not perfect. Still, finding 95% of the types of hidden content can protect you a lot of the time.

To run the Document Inspector, select File, Info, Check for Issues, Inspect Document, and click OK. The results of the Document Inspector will show that the document has personal information stored in the file properties (author’s name) and perhaps a hidden worksheet.

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