Change Excel 2008 to Look Normal

by Gregory on July 10, 2010

Excel 2008 Mac Icon

I’m new to the Excel 2008, the Mac version. Every time I open the program it just looks weird. What bothers me is that the default view is Page Layout. I guess it comes like that out of the box.

The regular Excel programs (Windows) are all setup with a Normal page layout as the default workbook setting. In all the years I’ve used Excel I’ve never thought a thing about what a spreadsheet view should look like until opening Excel 2008:mac for the first time.

To “normalize” things for me, I changed the default workbook setting in Excel 2008 from Page Layout to Normal. Now when I open the program, it looks a little more, well, normal to me.

Here are the steps to change the default workbook settings from page layout view to Normal view in Excel 2008.

  1. Open Excel 2008:mac
  2. Select the menu Excel » Preferences » View
  3. In the Settings section, under Preferred view for new sheets: select Normal

Normal View Excel 2008

All new sheets will now appear with the Normal view. Check this out by clicking the plus (+) next to the last worksheet tab to insert a new sheet.

The next time you open Excel 2008 it will look a little more normal.

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Joe January 17, 2011 at 8:44 am

Awesome – have wondered about this for a long time. Thanks for taking the time to post.

Xavier March 4, 2011 at 9:33 am

you bet! same thing here! THANKS!!!

Gregory March 4, 2011 at 10:20 am

@Joe @Xavier Just trying to make things a little easier on everyone.

Alloy008 June 14, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Thank you!

Stephanie June 27, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Hello. This helped me get rid of the page layout–thank you! But now I’d like for excel to always open with the formatting toolbar showing and to open at 150% zoom. I’ve tried saving a blank workbook with these specifications to “templates,” but I’d rather the preferences load automatically when I open a “new” workbook in excel. Any ideas?

Gregory June 27, 2011 at 9:19 pm

That’s a good one. I’ve thought about that and tried a couple of things, but so far I’m no better off than you are right now. The answer is probably to run a personal macro when the file opens to set the zoom with VBA. I prefer 125%, but that’s just me. If I get something that works, I’ll write a post about it.

Kristel July 14, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Thanks – that was driving me crazy! And I couldn’t find where to fix it and help was no help, so I googled it and found your page. Even though it looks like it’s an old post, it still helped me tremendously!

Gregory July 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Thanks. I always laugh when someone says “It was driving me crazy” because I experienced the same thing.

Adrienne August 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm

AWESOME! This has been making me bananas. What were they thinking? (Something not so subtle like, “Go back to Windows!”)

I was wondering about Excel’s apparent lack of a Normal template. I changed the default view on Word:Mac 2008 to 125% by changing normal.dotm, but am having trouble finding the Excel equivalent.

Anyone? Thanks!

Gregory August 16, 2011 at 6:47 pm

I’ve looked for the Normal template with similar ideas of making the default spreadsheet zoomed to 125% but can’t find it anywhere. Sorry!

I’ll continue to try and solve this problem but right now I don’t have an answer.

Adrienne August 17, 2011 at 7:52 am

Thanks for trying, Gregory. I’ll keep trying, too, and post it here if I have any luck!

Dang Microsoft apps.

Gregory August 17, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Thanks, we have to stick together. Since Excel for Windows and Mac speak different languages, somebody has to figure this out.

Mark September 28, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Thanks! Saved me a lot of searching. Normality is now restored.

Andrea July 15, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Thank you thank you thank you!!!!! this has been driving me crazy. much appreciated.

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