For Your Eyes Only

For Your Eyes Only

Have you ever been in a situation where you’re working on sensitive material in MS Excel and someone walks up behind you?

What do you do?

Do you quickly minimize the entire program?

Yeah, I’ve done that too. But what if you need Excel to work on another project with the person who came in?

You could go through the hassle of closing and saving the file, but luckily, there’s a faster way!

Why not just hide the file?

Hide it?

Yes, hide it! (I realize it’s not a piece of paper you can just shove in a desk drawer, but I promise, Excel has you covered on this).

Here’s the deal.

The next time you need to quickly remove a workbook from someone else’s eyesight, simply go to the Window menu and choose Hide. For Excel 2007 users, you’re looking for the View ribbon, Hide button.

Instantly, the current workbook will be hidden from anyone’s view.

If you take a look at the list of open files in the Window menu (the Excel 2007 list is under the View ribbon, Switch Windows button), you’ll find that the workbooks are no longer listed. (That’s good news! That means you can’t accidentally switch to the file you don’t want to be viewed).

Now, let’s move ahead a bit.

Let’s suppose you’re ready to get back to work on your hidden file. It’s definitely not on the list in the Window menu, so what do you do?

You unhide it, of course!

To do so, return to the Window menu and choose Unhide this time. In Excel 2007, it’s back to the View ribbon, Unhide button.

A window will then pop open, listing all of the hidden files.

Choose the workbook you need to unhide and click OK. You’ll then be returned to Excel with your workbook active and you can continue working.

At this point, I bet you have just one more question. Am I right?

Are you wondering what will happen if you forget to unhide a workbook and try to close Excel?

Excel-lent question!

Basically, Excel will ask if you want to save the file, just like it does with all of your open files when the program closes. Choose Yes or No and proceed the same as you would with any other file.

The difference comes in when you open the file again at a later time. Upon reopening it, the file will immediately be hidden. You’ll need to return to the Window menu (View ribbon) to unhide it and then, once again, you’re ready to go. (If you forget this little nugget of information, you’ll most likely think your workbook has somehow been erased. That’s not a great feeling, so please keep this warning in mind!)

There you have it! A quick and easy way to keep your Excel work away from wandering eyes. It’s kind of like “hiding the clutter!”

~ April

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