logo_office_2003.jpgThe accounting department called me the other day and asked why the “recently used file list” was greyed out. The option has been in all previous versions of office and never had a problem. The list is used for easy access to workbooks that you frequently work on, so you can display up to nine on the File menu. You can also hide them or clear their history.

You can configure Excel to display the recently used file list, as well as the maximum files to include in the list, by clicking Options from the Tools menu. From the General tab, place a check beside the Recently used file list option. You can then configure the number of files to display. However, in 2003, this option is “greyed out”.

If you discover that this option is unavailable (greyed out), there may be a problem with one of the entries in the registry. To resolve the problem, click Start and click Run. Type regedit.exe and click OK. Navigate to the following registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ Explorer.

Double click NoRecentDocsHistory and change the value to 0, and click ok. This also applies to all other Microsoft Office products.

WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. I am not responsible if you use the Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk, and make sure you have a back up of all your data.