How To use Excel : Excel Basics – Explore Backstage View in Excel 2016

We have introduced ourselves to the very beginning of this super powerful tool. We have learnt the different parts and features of the two initial screens of Excel - the start screen of Excel 2016 and the Main worksheet area of excel. Now we'll exploring one more screen that users get to see very often in Excel 2016 - it is called the backstage view. This is a very important screen and allows us to perform a lot of tasks. Lets have a look at this part of excel in more detail.

Different parts of Backstage View in Excel 2016

The backstage view in Excel is the gateway to the numerous actions that can we take while working with Excel - create a new spreadsheet, modify an existing one, save our work, share our work with others, print our worksheet and a lot more. Also we can change how Excel behaves in various scenarios by altering the preferences by clicking the ‘Options’ button in this backstage view.

One can access this backstage view by clicking the File menu button on the worksheet.

Explore backstage View in Excel 2016
Left Pane

The left pane of the backstage view – the green colored pane – lists all the actions available to an Excel user while the right side pane consists the details and further choices for the selected action.

The top most part of the left pane is a back arrow. Clicking on this arrow you can go back to the main worksheet area without performing any action.

Explore backstage View in Excel 2016
Info Button

Then comes the ‘Info’ button - The first in the list. When we click on the info button the right side screen displays a whole lot of command buttons and information.

In the left side of this screen are four command buttons each of which will be discussed in detail further in the course.

  • Protect Workbook – To encrypt a workbook with a password.
  • Inspect workbook – To check various details about the workbook – like the metadata of the file, the compatibility with older Excel versions and the files accessibility options.
  • Manage Workbook – Options related to AutoRecovery of the File.
  • Browser View Options – Managing options for users who use the workbook online.
Explore backstage View in Excel 2016

In the right side of the Info screen there is a lot of information and properties of the file – the size of the file, the title of the file, the creation date, modification date etc. Most of the information shown in this section are self-explanatory.

Note # - You can edit the information of the file right from this screen itself. E.g. if you want to change the title of the file then click on the ‘Add a title’ text shown in front of the Title Label and it will change into a textbox. Just enter the new value to give a title to the file. Similarly other values can be changed.


Click on the ‘Show All Properties’ link at the bottom of this section to view even more information about the file.

In the top right corner of the info screen is the Sign In button that can be used to sign in to your MS office account.

Explore backstage View in Excel 2016
New Command

The second command in the left side list is the ‘New’ command – It is used to create a new workbook. The right side screen of this command is quite similar to the start screen we discussed. This screen shows the command to open a new blank workbook, shows the options to have a tour of MS excel, View tutorials on some of the important topics. But the most important section of this screen is the Spreadsheet templates section – Numerous pre designed templates are available to the users to use to create their new workbook. Also there is a search box at the top of the page that can be used to search for more templates online.

Explore backstage View in Excel 2016
open workbook

Then there is the ‘Open’ command which can be used to open an existing workbook. The right screen shows the recently used workbooks, the Pinned workbooks and the various locations – Local or online - from where we can open an existing workbook. At the bottom of the screen is a button – “Recover Unsaved Workbooks”. Click this button to open auto saved versions of your workbooks.

Explore backstage View in Excel 2016
More Stuff

Below the ‘Open’ button is a long list of commands like save, print, publish etc. Almost all these commands are self-explanatory. We’ll discuss the Print, publish and the Export commands in detail further in the course still it is advised that users should play around with these commands and their settings to better understand them.

Explore backstage View in Excel 2016

The last one in the list is the options command and is one the most important command. Clicking on this button will open a dialog box with a plethora of preferences that can be set to define the way Excel behaves. We’ll discuss all the important settings in this dialog box one by one.

Explore backstage View in Excel 2016

Conclusion :

Now we know how to move forward in working with Excel. In the coming tutorials we'll be exploring all the features and customization options that we have just looked at in more detail.