Excel Tutorial: How To Make Templates In Excel


Templates play a crucial role in Excel as they can save you time, streamline your work, and ensure consistency across your documents. In this tutorial, we will cover the importance of templates in Excel and provide a step-by-step guide on how to create and customize your own Excel templates to suit your specific needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Templates in Excel can save time, streamline work, and ensure consistency.
  • Understanding the basics of templates is essential for maximizing their benefits.
  • Creating custom templates allows for personalized and efficient document creation.
  • Utilizing built-in templates can expedite the document creation process.
  • Implementing templates in Excel can significantly increase productivity and efficiency.

Understanding the Basics of Templates

In this chapter, we will explore the definition of templates in Excel, how they can streamline work processes, and the benefits of using templates.

A. Definition of templates in Excel

Templates in Excel are pre-designed spreadsheets that can be used as a starting point for creating new workbooks. They contain predefined formatting, formulas, and layouts to help users quickly set up a new document without having to create everything from scratch.

B. How templates can streamline work processes

By using templates, users can save time and effort by avoiding the need to recreate the same formats and layouts for repetitive tasks. Templates can also ensure consistency across multiple documents and help users stay organized.

C. The benefits of using templates in Excel
  • Time-saving: Templates allow users to start working on a new document immediately without spending time on formatting and layout.
  • Consistency: Using templates ensures that all documents based on the same template maintain a consistent look and feel.
  • Organization: Templates can help users keep their work organized by standardizing the structure and layout of their documents.
  • Error reduction: By predefining formulas and formats, templates can help reduce the risk of errors in documents.

Creating a Custom Template

Excel templates can save you time and effort by allowing you to create a standardized layout for a particular type of document. Here's how you can create your own custom template in Excel:

Step-by-step guide on how to create a template

  • Open a new Excel workbook: Start by opening a new Excel workbook to begin creating your template.
  • Design the layout: Customize the layout of your worksheet by adding headers, footers, and any other elements you want to include in your template.
  • Format the cells: Apply the formatting, such as font styles, colors, and borders, that you want to use in your template.
  • Insert placeholder text: Include placeholder text or sample data to serve as a guide for future use.
  • Save the file as a template: Once you have designed the layout and formatting of your template, save the file as an Excel template by selecting "Excel Template (*.xltx)" in the "Save as type" dropdown menu.

Customizing the template to fit specific needs

  • Adjusting the layout: Modify the layout of the template to fit the specific needs of the document you are creating.
  • Customize the formatting: Change the formatting, such as font size or color, to suit the specific requirements of your document.
  • Adding or removing elements: Include or remove any elements that are necessary or unnecessary for the specific use of the template.

Saving the template for future use

  • Locate and access the template: Store the template in a location where it can be easily accessed for future use.
  • Utilizing the template: When needed, open the template and populate it with the relevant data to create a new document based on the template.
  • Updating the template: If necessary, update the template to reflect any changes or improvements for future use.

Utilizing Built-in Templates

When it comes to streamlining your work in Excel, utilizing built-in templates can save you significant time and effort. Excel offers a wide range of pre-existing templates that cater to different needs and requirements.

A. Exploring the pre-existing templates in Excel
  • Excel provides templates for various purposes such as budgeting, project management, calendars, invoices, and more.
  • These templates are designed to serve as a starting point for your work, providing you with a pre-formatted structure and layout.

B. How to access and use these templates
  • To access the pre-existing templates in Excel, you can go to the "File" tab and select "New."
  • From there, you can browse through the available templates or search for specific ones using keywords.
  • Once you have found a template that suits your needs, you can simply select it and start working on your data within the pre-defined framework.

C. Customizing built-in templates to suit individual requirements
  • While the pre-existing templates provide a great starting point, they can be customized to better fit your specific requirements.
  • You can modify the layout, add or remove sections, change colors and fonts, and tailor the template to align with your unique preferences.
  • This customization allows you to create a template that not only saves time but also aligns with your individual workflow and presentation needs.

Tips for Designing Effective Templates

Creating templates in Excel can significantly streamline your work processes and improve efficiency. Here are some best practices to consider when designing effective templates.

A. Best practices for template design
  • Consistency: Ensure consistency in layout, formatting, and styling throughout the template to maintain a professional and organized look.
  • Clarity: Use clear and descriptive labels to guide users on how to input data and navigate the template.
  • Flexibility: Design the template with the option to easily customize and adapt to different needs and scenarios.

B. Ensuring user-friendliness and functionality

  • Intuitive Navigation: Organize the template in a logical manner with easy-to-follow navigation to facilitate user interaction.
  • Validation and Error Checking: Implement data validation and error-checking mechanisms to ensure accuracy and prevent input errors.
  • Clear Instructions: Provide clear instructions or guidelines within the template to assist users in utilizing its features effectively.

C. Incorporating time-saving features into templates

  • Automated Calculations: Utilize formulas and functions to automate calculations and data processing, reducing the need for manual input.
  • Dropdown Lists and AutoFill: Incorporate dropdown lists and AutoFill options to streamline data entry and minimize repetitive tasks.
  • Custom Macros: Create custom macros to automate specific actions and tasks within the template for increased efficiency.

By following these tips and best practices, you can design effective and user-friendly Excel templates that enhance productivity and simplify complex tasks.

Implementing Templates in Excel

Excel templates can be a great way to save time and maintain consistency in your spreadsheets. Whether you're creating a new document or updating an existing one, templates can help streamline the process. Below are the steps to implement templates in Excel.

A. How to apply a template to a new or existing spreadsheet
  • For a new spreadsheet:

    To apply a template to a new spreadsheet, simply select "File" > "New" and then choose "Personal" or "Shared" templates. From there, select the template you want to use and begin working on your new document with the template's formatting and layout already in place.

  • For an existing spreadsheet:

    If you have an existing spreadsheet that you'd like to apply a template to, you can do so by selecting "File" > "Save As" and then choosing the desired template from the "Save as Type" dropdown menu. This will apply the template to your existing document without altering its content.

B. Modifying and updating templates as needed
  • Once you've applied a template to a spreadsheet, you may find that you need to make modifications to better suit your specific needs. To modify a template, simply open the template file and make the necessary adjustments to the formatting, layout, or any other elements. Then, save the modified template for future use.

  • It's also important to regularly update your templates to ensure they reflect any changes in your organization's standards or requirements. By regularly reviewing and updating your templates, you can maintain consistency and efficiency across your spreadsheets.

C. Sharing templates with colleagues or team members
  • If you have created a template that you'd like to share with others in your organization, you can do so by simply emailing the template file or uploading it to a shared drive. This allows your colleagues or team members to easily access and use the template for their own spreadsheets.

  • Another option for sharing templates is to utilize Excel's built-in template sharing features, such as the ability to save templates to a shared network location. By making templates easily accessible to others, you can promote consistency and streamline processes throughout your organization.


In conclusion, templates are essential in Excel for streamlining processes and ensuring consistency in your work. By utilizing templates, you can save time and effort, leading to increased productivity and efficiency in your tasks. I strongly encourage you to start incorporating templates into your Excel workflow to reap the benefits of this powerful tool.

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