Excel Tutorial: How To Copy A Template In Excel


Copying a template in Excel is an essential skill for anyone looking to streamline their workflow and save time. Whether you're creating reports, budget sheets, or any other type of document, using a template can significantly reduce the amount of time and effort required to format and organize your data. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the process of copying a template in Excel, and highlight the benefits of using templates in your day-to-day work.

Key Takeaways

  • Copying a template in Excel is crucial for streamlining workflow and saving time.
  • Using templates significantly reduces the time and effort required to format and organize data.
  • Understanding the definition and benefits of Excel templates is important for efficient use.
  • Customizing copied templates and following best practices can improve efficiency in Excel tasks.
  • Being aware of common issues and troubleshooting methods is essential for seamless template copying.

Understanding Templates in Excel

Definition of Excel templates: Excel templates are pre-designed spreadsheets or workbooks that can be used as a starting point for creating new documents. They are like a blueprint for creating similar documents with the same structure and formatting.

Explanation of how templates can streamline processes in Excel: Templates can save time and effort by providing a ready-made format for common tasks such as budgeting, invoicing, and project planning. By using templates, users can avoid starting from scratch and ensure consistency in their documents.

How to Copy a Template in Excel

  • Open the template: Start by opening the Excel template that you want to copy.
  • Select and copy: Use your mouse or keyboard shortcuts to select all the cells in the template. Once selected, copy the content to the clipboard.
  • Create a new workbook: Open a new Excel workbook where you want to paste the copied template.
  • Paste the template: In the new workbook, paste the copied template using the "Paste" or "Paste Special" function to ensure that the formatting is preserved.
  • Save the new workbook: After pasting the template, save the new workbook with a different file name to avoid overwriting the original template.

By following these steps, you can easily copy an existing Excel template into a new workbook and customize it according to your specific needs.

Steps to Copying a Template in Excel

Excel templates are a time-saving way to create professional-looking spreadsheets. Once you've found the right template for your needs, copying it to use again and again is a simple process. Here's how to do it:

a. Open the template in Excel

Make sure the template you want to copy is open and ready for copying.

b. Select the template file

Click on the template file to select it. This will ensure that you copy the correct file.

c. Right-click on the file and select "Copy"

Using your mouse, right-click on the selected template file. A drop-down menu will appear, and you should select "Copy" from this menu.

d. Navigate to the destination folder

Go to the location where you want to paste the copied template. This could be a specific folder on your computer or a cloud storage location.

e. Right-click in the folder and select "Paste"

Once you are in the destination folder, right-click with your mouse and select "Paste" from the drop-down menu. The template file will then be copied to this location.


Copying an Excel template is a quick and easy process that can save you time and effort in the long run. By following these simple steps, you can make the most of the templates available to you and ensure a streamlined workflow.

Customizing the Copied Template

After you have successfully copied the template in Excel, it is important to customize it according to your needs. Here are the steps to customize the copied template:

a. Open the copied template in Excel

First, open the Excel program on your computer and locate the copied template file. Double-click on the file to open it in Excel.

b. Make necessary changes and edits to the template

Once the template is open, you can begin making the necessary changes and edits. This may include updating the data, changing the formatting, adding or removing columns/rows, and any other modifications required to tailor the template to your specific needs.

Pro tip: Utilize Excel's features such as formulas, conditional formatting, and data validation to enhance the functionality of your customized template.

c. Save the customized template for future use

Once you have made all the necessary changes, it is important to save the customized template for future use. To do this, click on the "File" tab in Excel, select "Save As," and choose a location on your computer to save the file. It is recommended to save the customized template with a different file name to differentiate it from the original template.

  • File type: Consider saving the customized template as an Excel Template (.xltx) to preserve the original template format and settings.
  • File location: Save the customized template in a folder where it can be easily accessed and shared with others who may need to use it.

By following these steps, you can effectively customize a copied template in Excel to suit your specific requirements.

Best Practices for Using Copied Templates

When working with templates in Excel, it's important to follow best practices to ensure efficiency and organization. Here are some tips for using copied templates:

a. Naming conventions for copied templates

When copying a template in Excel, it's essential to use a clear and consistent naming convention. This will help you easily identify and differentiate between the original template and its copies. Consider including a version number or date in the file name to track revisions.


  • Original Template: Sales_Report_Template_v1
  • Copied Template: Sales_Report_Template_v2

b. Keeping original templates intact

It's important to keep the original template file intact and unaltered. This ensures that you always have a clean, untouched version to refer back to if needed. Make copies of the original template for any modifications or customizations, and avoid making changes directly to the original file.

c. Organizing template files for easy access

Organizing your template files in a logical and accessible manner can save time and reduce the risk of errors. Create a dedicated folder or directory for your Excel templates, and consider using subfolders or categories to further organize them. This will make it easier to locate specific templates when needed.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

While copying templates in Excel, you may encounter some common issues that can hinder the process. Here are some common problems and tips for resolving them:

Error messages when copying templates

If you encounter error messages when trying to copy a template in Excel, it could be due to a variety of reasons. Some common error messages include "Unable to copy template" or "File format not supported."

Tips for resolving any issues that may arise during the copying process

  • Check file format compatibility: Ensure that the template you are trying to copy is compatible with the version of Excel you are using. If the template is in a newer file format, try saving it in a compatible format before copying.

  • Verify file permissions: If you are unable to copy a template, it may be due to restricted file permissions. Check if you have the necessary permissions to access and copy the template file.

  • Close other programs: Sometimes, having multiple programs running in the background can interfere with the copying process. Close any unnecessary programs and try copying the template again.

  • Restart Excel: If you continue to encounter issues when copying a template, try restarting Excel to refresh the program and clear any temporary issues that may be causing the problem.

  • Try a different location: If you are unable to copy the template to a specific location, try copying it to a different folder or directory to see if the issue persists.


In conclusion, copying templates in Excel is a crucial skill that can save you time and effort when working on various tasks. By utilizing templates, you can streamline your processes and ensure consistency in your work. I encourage you to take advantage of Excel's template feature to improve efficiency in your tasks and make the most out of this powerful tool.

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