Excel Tutorial: How To Make A Template In Excel


Creating a template in Excel can greatly improve efficiency and productivity for anyone working with spreadsheets on a regular basis. By having a pre-designed layout, users can simply input their data, saving time and reducing the potential for errors. In this tutorial, we will explore the benefits of creating a template in Excel and provide a step-by-step guide to help you get started.

Key Takeaways

  • Using a template in Excel can greatly improve efficiency and productivity.
  • Templates streamline repetitive tasks and reduce the potential for errors.
  • Customizing templates to fit specific needs and preferences is crucial for maximizing their effectiveness.
  • Utilizing Excel’s features to personalize templates can enhance their usability.
  • Sharing templates with colleagues and online can promote collaboration and efficiency.

Understanding Templates in Excel

Excel templates are pre-designed spreadsheets that can be used as a starting point for creating new workbooks. They are a powerful tool for streamlining repetitive tasks and ensuring consistency in your work. In this blog, we will define what an Excel template is and discuss how it can make your work more efficient.

Definition of an Excel template

An Excel template is a file that serves as a starting point for a new workbook. It contains pre-designed formatting, formulas, and layout that can be customized and used for various tasks. Templates can be created for a wide range of purposes, such as budgeting, project management, or data analysis.

Explanation of how templates can streamline repetitive tasks

Templates can streamline repetitive tasks by providing a standardized format for data entry and analysis. They can help you save time by eliminating the need to create the same formatting and formulas from scratch for each new workbook. Additionally, using templates can ensure consistency across different workbooks and make it easier to collaborate with others.

Creating a New Template

Creating a new template in Excel can streamline your work process and ensure consistency across your documents. Follow these steps to create a custom template that suits your specific needs.

A. Step-by-step guide on how to create a new template in Excel
  • Step 1: Open a new Excel workbook.
  • Step 2: Customize the workbook with the formatting, layout, and data that you want to include in your template.
  • Step 3: Click on "File" and then select "Save As."
  • Step 4: Choose the location where you want to save the template.
  • Step 5: In the "Save as type" dropdown menu, select "Excel Template (*.xltx)" as the file format.
  • Step 6: Name the template and click "Save."
  • Step 7: Your template is now ready to use.

B. Tips for designing a user-friendly and efficient template layout

When designing a template in Excel, it's essential to create a layout that is user-friendly and efficient for data entry and analysis. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Consistent Formatting: Use consistent formatting for headers, data fields, and labels to maintain a professional and organized look.
  • Clear Instructions: Provide clear instructions or guidance within the template to help users understand how to input data and navigate the document.
  • Conditional Formatting: Use conditional formatting to highlight critical information or identify specific data trends for easy visualization.
  • Data Validation: Implement data validation rules to ensure that the entered data meets specific criteria or standards, reducing errors and improving data quality.
  • Dropdown Lists: Utilize dropdown lists for data entry whenever possible to standardize inputs and improve accuracy.
  • Protect Important Cells: Protect important cells containing formulas or critical data to prevent accidental changes.

Customizing a Template

When using templates in Excel, it’s important to be able to customize them to fit the specific needs and preferences of your project or organization. Here are some tips for customizing your Excel template:

A. How to customize a template to fit specific needs and preferences
  • Identify the specific requirements: Before customizing a template, it’s important to identify the specific needs and preferences of the project or organization that the template will be used for. This could include specific data fields, formatting preferences, or calculations that need to be included in the template.
  • Modify existing content: If the template already contains some pre-populated content, such as sample data or default labels, it’s important to modify or delete this content to fit the specific requirements. For example, you may need to change the default column headers to match the data you are working with.
  • Add or remove elements: Depending on the specific needs and preferences, you may need to add new elements to the template, such as additional data fields or calculations. Conversely, there may be elements in the template that are not necessary for your project, which can be removed or hidden.

B. Utilizing Excel’s features to personalize the template
  • Conditional formatting: Excel’s conditional formatting feature allows you to apply different formatting rules based on the content of the cells. This can be used to highlight important data, apply color-coding for specific criteria, or visually organize the information in the template.
  • Formulas and functions: Excel’s formulas and functions can be used to perform calculations and analysis within the template. For example, you can use formulas to automatically calculate totals or averages, or functions to manipulate and analyze the data in various ways.
  • Data validation: Excel’s data validation feature allows you to control the type and format of data that can be entered into specific cells. This can help ensure the accuracy and consistency of the data in the template.

Saving and Sharing Templates

A. Options for saving a template in Excel

When it comes to saving a template in Excel, you have a few options to choose from. The most common ways to save a template include:

  • Using the "Save As" feature: Simply open the template you want to save, click on "File" and then "Save As." Choose the location where you want to save the template, give it a name, and select "Excel Template (*.xltx)" from the dropdown menu under "Save as type."
  • Using the "Save as Template" feature: If you are using Excel 365, you can directly save your workbook as a template by clicking on "File," then "Save As" and selecting "This PC" as the location. Choose the "Excel Template (*.xltx)" option from the dropdown menu under "Save as type" and click "Save."
  • Using the Excel Online templates: If you are working on Excel Online, you can access a variety of templates provided by Microsoft by clicking on "File," then "New," and selecting "Personal" or "Shared" to save your template.

B. Best practices for sharing templates with colleagues or online

Sharing Excel templates with colleagues or online can be a great way to collaborate and streamline processes. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Use a file-sharing platform: When sharing templates with colleagues, consider using a file-sharing platform such as SharePoint, OneDrive, or Google Drive to ensure easy access and collaboration.
  • Provide clear instructions: When sharing templates, include clear instructions on how to use the template and any specific guidelines or requirements.
  • Protect sensitive information: If the template contains sensitive information, consider password-protecting the file or only sharing it with authorized individuals.
  • Utilize online platforms: Consider sharing your templates on online platforms such as Excel Online, where others can access and use them directly from their web browser.

Using Templates for Data Entry and Analysis

Templates are a great tool for streamlining data entry and analysis in Excel. They can save time, ensure consistency, and make it easier to organize and analyze large amounts of data. In this tutorial, we will demonstrate how to create and use a template for data entry, as well as provide some tips for utilizing templates for data analysis and reporting.

Demonstrating how to use a template for data entry

Creating a template for data entry in Excel can help to standardize the input process and ensure that all necessary information is captured. Here are some steps to follow when using a template for data entry:

  • Create a template: Start by creating a new workbook in Excel and designing a layout for your data entry template. This may include column headers, data validation rules, and any necessary formatting.
  • Save the template: Once your template is complete, save it as a template file (.xltx) so that it can be reused for future data entry tasks.
  • Enter data: When it's time to enter new data, open the template file and start entering the information into the designated cells. The template will provide a consistent structure for data input.
  • Save and organize: After entering the data, save the file with a new name to preserve the original template. Organize your files in a logical manner for easy retrieval and future use.

Tips for utilizing templates for data analysis and reporting

Templates can also be used to streamline the process of data analysis and reporting in Excel. Here are some tips for making the most of templates in these tasks:

  • Standardize data formatting: Use a template to standardize the formatting of your data for analysis and reporting, ensuring that all data is presented in a consistent and easily understandable format.
  • Automate calculations: Incorporate formulas and functions into your templates to automate calculations and make it easier to analyze your data.
  • Include visualization tools: Use templates that include charts, graphs, or other visualization tools to make it easier to present and analyze your data.
  • Save time with pre-built templates: Take advantage of pre-built templates for common analysis and reporting tasks, such as budgeting, inventory management, or sales reporting, to save time and ensure consistency.


Using templates in Excel can save you time and improve accuracy in your data entry and analysis. By creating customized templates for your specific needs, you can ensure consistency and efficiency in your work. We encourage you to start implementing templates in your Excel workflow today and experience the benefits for yourself.

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