Change the Default File Format in Excel 2011 for Mac

As with most programs that you will install on your computer, Excel 2011 for Mac includes a default combination of settings that are meant to appeal to a wide range of users. Among these settings is the default “Save as” format, which is set to .xlsx. This is the new standard for Excel files after the introduction of Microsoft Office 2007, and it extends to versions of the software for the Mac operating system as well. If you want to change the default file format in Excel 2010 in Windows, for example, you could follow the instructions in this article to use the the CSV file format as the default in that program. But to change the default file save setting in Excel 2011, follow the instructions below.

Configure the Default File Save Format for Excel 2011 for Mac

The .xlsx file format is the default for most of the recent versions of Excel, and even older versions of the software can be updated with a compatibility pack to allow those versions of the software to open and edit newer file types. Conversely, you can use the instructions below to set a different file type for new files created in Excel 2011, such as the older .xls default, or the commonly used .csv file type. Each of those file types have their limitations when compared to the .xlsx file type, but your situation will dictate which file type is the best choice for you.

Step 1: Launch Excel 2011.

Step 2: Click Excel at the top of the window, then click Preferences.

Open the Excel "Preferences" menu
Open the Excel “Preferences” menu

Step 3: Click the Compatibility icon in the Sharing and Privacy section of the window.

Click the "Compatibility" icon
Click the “Compatibility” icon

Step 4: Click the drop-down menu under Save files in this format, then choose the default format you want to use when creating files in Excel 2011.

Choose your new default save format
Choose your new default save format

Step 5: Click the OK button at the bottom of the window to save your changes.

Any new file created in Excel 2011 will now be saved with the file format that you just selected.

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