Excel Version 1908/Default Save is XLSM???

  1. Posts : 5
    Windows 10

    Excel Version 1908/Default Save is XLSM???

    We think this started in April but for some reason Excel has changed itself to save files as .xlsm instead of the default .xlsx. One of our users caught this last week. We are on the Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel running the May update Version 1908 (Build 11929.20776) 64 bit. The version/licensing of Office we have doesn't allow for controlling Office via group policy. Has anyone experienced this and if so know of some way to mass change it back instead of having to show over 200 users how to change this setting manually within Excel?

    Note: We have controlled some of Office's behavior in group policy via registry setting changes. I've went through the registry and the default save settings for Excel seem to be in at least 12 different registry settings.

    Note: Microsoft should be releasing Version 1909 to our channel this month. I'm wondering if the upgrade to the new version will change Excel back to the default save .xlxs?
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  2. Posts : 11,672
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1776

    Are you able to run Registry changes on the client computers?

    If so you can set the relevant Registry entry directly instead of getting users to change it through the user interface. You could use Reg Add commands for the job
    Built-In Help - RegAdd.txt
    Reg - SS64
    Reg - MSDocs

    You can use NirSoft's RegFromApp to check your version's Registry key & value-data.
    - You open Excel on a test/reference computer.
    - You open RegFromApp and select Excel from its list as the process to monitor. Assuming you have a x64 computer, you can try both the x64 version & the x86 version to find out which lists Excel in your case.
    - You do the change manually through the user interface i.e. you do the change just as any user would do.
    - You look in the RegFromApp window and copy the Key, Value & Data change that it shows you.
    - You could then also look in the Registry whilst you change it back & forth through the user interface so you can see the changes happening for yourself {using the RegEdit, View menu, Refresh command after each change so you can be sure you are looking at the new Data each time}.

    For my Office 2007 [i.e. v12], the entry is
    Key - HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Excel\Options
    Value - DefaultFormat
    - [default xlsx] 0x00000033 (51)
    - [default xlsm] 0x00000034 (52)

    For Office 2016, the Key is
    and the Value-Data entries are the same as Office 2007.

    Unlike some direct Registry changes, this particular one does get reflected back in the user interface so any of your users who look at Excel, Options, Save will see that it is set to default .xlsx

    Last edited by Try3; 06 Jul 2020 at 14:31.
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  3. Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    This worked perfectly. Thank you so much for your help.
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  4. Posts : 11,672
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1776

    My pleasure.

    Just as you posted, I was finishing off some changes to my first post in case you needed extra guidance. You clearly did not.

    Just out of interest, what is the Office365 version number in the Registry Key [instead of my 12.0]?
    Key - HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Excel\Options

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  5. Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Try3: It's HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Excel\options
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  6. Posts : 11,672
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1776

    macdad said:
    Try3: It's HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Excel\options
    Thanks for that. They are keeping its Office 2016 version number for its Registry entries then.

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  7. Posts : 11,672
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1776

    Phone Man said:
    From what I found at this site. XLSM files are .XLSX files, but with macros enabled. Both extensions can be opened with Excel 2007 and up.
    I am running MS Office 2013 and all mine are XLSX. I only do a few basic Excel sheets.
    XLSM File Extension - What is an .xlsm file and how do I open it?

    Just in case this is significant for anything you do with your Excel files
    - xlsm are not simply 'xlsx with macros enabled', the two types have very different internal structures
    - Excel can open, edit, save both types and can let you swap around between them when using SaveAs
    - xlsx files can be created using File explorer's context menu, New entry
    - only Excel itself can create xlsm files
    - Many third-party applications can open, edit & save xlsx files but not all can even open xlsm files

    You might never need to know any of this but the wording you used concerned me.

    All the best,
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 1,418
    Windows 10 Pro 21H1 64 bit

    Thanks Denis.
    I don't do much with Excel so I have limited knowledge. Just saw that article and was passing it on.
    Thanks for the information.

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