Zoom to 125 Percent – Excel 2011 Default Workbook

by Gregory on August 29, 2011

I want to have Excel 2011 (for Mac) open to a blank worksheet that is zoomed to 125% and it has taken a very long time to figure this out. It involves saving a template to a buried location, then manipulating the file in Finder to remove the extension. Simple, once you know the trick.

The buried location is:

    Macintosh HD:Users:username:Library:Application Support:Microsoft:Office:User Templates:My Templates:

Or you can check to see where the Excel startup files are located on your computer. Just to go Excel > Preferences then select General and click the Select… box for At startup, open all files in. This is where a modified template file should go.

Excel 2011 Preferences General

Change the Default Workbook in Excel 2011

  • Open Excel 2011
  • Choose View > Zoom, then select 125% and click OK
  • Choose File > Save As
  • In the Save As: box type in Workbook
  • Click the Format: drop-down button and choose Excel Template (.xltx)
  • Make sure you save it to the startup location (discussed above)
  • Click Save

Excel 2011 Save As Template

Note: Keep in mind that I have set Excel preferences to have my workbooks open with just one worksheet. If you have several worksheets in the Workbook Template file, you may have to set the zoom for each sheet.

The Default Workbook Secret

The trick now is to open Finder and navigate to the startup folder, select the Workbook.xltx file you just created, and delete the .xltx portion of the file name. I did this by selecting the file, clicking once to highlight the name, then selected the .xltx extension and hit the delete key.

Excel will warn you that this may be dangerous but stay the course and click Remove.

Remove .XLTX Extension

Now open Excel 2011 and you’ll be looking at a worksheet that is zoomed to 125% in the default workbook.

One More Thing – New Worksheets

We’re not done just yet because we need to do the same thing once again, but this time save the file with the name Sheet, so that when you add a new sheet to a workbook the zoom will automatically be set at 125%.

My Summary

The default files Excel uses for a new Workbook and a new Sheet are template files, with the extension removed, and located in the startup files location.

A common fallacy is that Excel for Mac uses the Normal Template. This belief took me in the wrong direction for quite some time. Hopefully this post will set the record straight.

Obviously, you can set more preferences than having a 125% zoom view of the worksheet. All you have to do is open these template files, make the changes and save (overwrite) them as template files. Then make sure the file extension is removed.

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