Save Files

In Excel, you can save your files in a few different ways:

  1. By Save and Save As buttons, which are located under the FILE tab.
  2. Using Share and Export buttons.
  3. By Ctrl + S keyboard shortcut.

If you try to close Excel, but you haven’t saved your data, Excel will ask you whether you really want to close the application without saving.

Places where you can save your files:


User’s computer disk is the most popular place to save files. When you click the Computer button, you will find on the right side, the Current Folder and a list of the recently used folders.

Click the Browse button (or double-click the Computer button) to open the Save As window and save the file.


If you want to set the default path where you want your files to be saved, you can do it in FILE >> Options >> Save >> Save workbooks >> Default local file location.


The SkyDrive is a cloud in which you can store your data. The advantage of this solution lies in the fact that you can access those files from any computer with Excel and Internet connection.

Office 365 SharePoint

The SharePoint Server is a web-based platform, which was created by Microsoft, primarily for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The server can be located in the company, where you can use it to share your documents with your group.

Saving with backward compatibility

If you open an old Excel (97 – 2003) file with the xls extension, Excel 2007 or newer will open this file in the Compatibility Mode, informing you about it in the file name.

The standard Excel files, since 2007 version are saved with the xlsx extension. However, there might be a situation that you don’t know whether someone who will use your file has Excel 2007 or newer installed.

In this case, you can save the file in a version that is compatible with Excel 97 – 2003. To do this go to FILE >> Save As >> Computer. The Save As window will appear. From the Save as type drop-down menu, select Excel 97 – 2003 Workbook (*.xls).

Saving Files as PDF

Before Excel 2007, saving PDF files was a bit more complicated. If you wanted to save your file, you had to install one of the PDF applications.

It could be a commercial Adobe Acrobat or one of the free alternative: Foxit PDF Creator or CutePDF. Then you had to print the file to PDF instead of a printer.

Since Excel 2007 you can save PDF file as easily as normal xlsx. If you want to save the file to a pdf format you need to choose PDF (*.pdf) from the Save as type dropdown menu.

Tomasz Decker is an Excel specialist, skilled in data analysis and financial modeling.