Stick to the List in Excel

You open lots of Excel files every day, and sometimes open the same file several times. In Excel 2007, if you click the Office Button, you can see a list of documents that you’ve opened recently. Click on file name, to open that file again.

Change the Number of Documents

My Recent Documents List was showing 17 files, and I guess that’s the default number, since I don’t remember changing it. Instead of leaving the default setting, you can show more or fewer files.
To change the setting:

  1. Click the Office Button, then click the Excel Options button
  2. Click the Advanced category
  3. In the Display section, change the number for Show this number of Recent Documents.
  4. Click OK, to close the Excel Options window.

The maximum number of files is 50, but that many might not show unless you have a really tall monitor.

Change the Setting in Excel 2003

In Excel 2003, the maximum number of files you can show in the list is 9. To change the setting:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the General tab, change the number for the Recently Used File List.
  3. Click OK, to close the Option dialog box.


Clear the Recent Documents List

In either version of Excel, you can clear the list, by changing the number to zero. In Excel 2003, you can also remove the check mark from the Recently Used File List setting.
After the list is cleared, you can change the setting to a higher number, to start building the list again.

Pin Items to the List

Normally, the older items in the list drop off the bottom, as new files are opened. In Excel 2007, there’s a push pin icon at the right of each file name. To keep a file on the list, click that push pin, to activate it.
This is another one of the Excel 2007 features that I didn’t notice until recently. (Maybe that’s why it’s call the Recent Documents list!) Now I use it quite often, to “stick” files that I’m working with for a few days.
In the screen shot below, the ProjectWorkCurrent.xlsm file is pinned to the list. Instead of the flat grey push pin, there’s a vertical green push pin.
That file will work it’s way down the list, if it’s not opened for a while, but it will stick to the list, and won’t drop off.