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Create Excel Templates
Ever wondered to utilize your previous work to get an advantage on your next piece? If you have spent your time in creating similar works multiple times or need to follow the exact formats in multiple workbooks, then Excel Templates is your answer to save your precious time. The examples include your dashboards, event management reports, inventory planning in a warehouse etc. You need to do this time and again, so why not put your best foot forward once and then just do some tweaks to utilize it again for a different purpose.
This is where you will find the concept of “creating excel templates” useful. It helps you to avoid the cumbersome repetitive tasks and help you to focus on the real deal. These templates can be either standard, those which are already present in MS Excel for their ready-made use or you can create your own template and utilize them later.
You will be given a short introduction on using the standard templates present in the MS Excel file, and then we can move on creating our own templates, configured to our requirements.
#1 – How to Select Standard Excel Template?
Open an excel workbook and Go to File >- New >-
You will see a similar screen like the below screenshot.
It gives you the option to select from some pre-defined options divided by various categories. You can choose the one relevant to your requirement and double click on it to use that template. Suppose I choose the Academic Calendar (any year) and double-clicked on it.
You will see a screenshot like the below one. You can see here that you can simply change the year and you can start using it for a different year than the one on which it was built for, giving you the flexibility to use whenever you want.
For this template, you will need to make one other change which is “select the week start day” for a month. The screenshot is below. You will see this once you open the template.
However, if you want to see a preview first and then decide whether you want to select that template or not, do a single click. You will see a screenshot as below.
If you are satisfied with it, click on the create button to proceed with it. Else close it by clicking on the “X” symbol in the dialog box and proceed again. You can also move forward and backward to select the required one among the standard templates by clicking on the 2 symbols on the side of the dialog box (marked above in black).
Like this, in any template that we choose, there will be some things which we need to tweak to reuse it for our purposes.
#2 -How to Create a Custom Excel Template?
This will be like the way copies are done from the original piece. We take utmost care in implementing the changes in the original piece, making sure all the formatting, headers, placeholders etc. are at perfectly done. Please devote a sufficient amount of time here, as anything and everything (example style, formatting, graphics etc.) related to this workbook will be replicated in its entirety.
What changes can be saved when you create custom template in Excel?
Basically, anything can you can do in a workbook can be saved in a template. Some of these include:
- Data Validation (Selecting values from a list)
- Having a macro button
- Some cells formatted in the way we like (for e.g. cells highlighted in yellow)
- Protect a range of cells from making any changes to it
- Hide certain rows and columns
- Charts, images, hexcel hyperlinks etc.
- Merge certain cells or wrap excel text in some
- Change the cell type to a specific format (e.g. Date format in a cell)
- Freeze excel cells so that header columns are always visible
In the below screenshot, I have shown some of these examples in an excel template I have created
- The cell B3 will only take inputs from a pre-specified list. (Go to cell B3, then go to “Data” tab. Select “Data Validation”.
In the drop-down, select the first one “Data Validation”.
- Then make the following changes as shown in below screenshot.
A Drop-Down list is created.
- Cells A3 to A6 will be highlighted in yellow. (Select Cell “A3:A6”, go to “Home Tab”, then click on “Fill Color”)
- The image will be there at the place shown (For this, go to the cell where you want to insert the picture, then go to the ‘Insert’ tab, click on ‘Pictures’ and then upload the image where it is stored on your computer)
A Picture is uploaded in that Cell.
- A button is present, which on clicking will run the required macro. (Go to the cell where you want to place the button, then go to the “Insert” Tab, go to “Shapes”.
- Choose the shape. Right click on it to select “Edit Text”, if you want to write anything in it.
Write “Click me to run the Macro”.
- Once done, right click again and choose “Assign Macro”.
It will open a dialogue box wherein you can assign the relevant macro which you have written in VBA.
- Rows 8 to 12 are hidden. (For this, select rows 8 to 12).
Go to the ‘Home’ tab, then go to ‘Format’, then to “Visibility”, then to “Hide & Unhide”, then “Hide Rows”.
Similarly, in the above screenshot, apart from the ones mentioned above, you can see:
- Cell F2 will always be in currency format. (For this, go to cell J2, do “ctrl+1” then change the type to “Currency”)
- Cells C15: D16 are merged into one. (For this, select cell C15: D16 and then click on “Merge & Center”)
- A worksheet is a freeze at cell C19 so that despite scrolling down, contents on row 19 will always be visible. You can use this when you want to always see the headers in your worksheet. (For this, go to cell N20, then go to “View” tab & click on “Freeze Panes”.
Output is shown below.
Now, assuming we have done everything that needs to be done in our workbook, I will show you the process that needs to be followed to save this created excel template and utilize it the next time.
#3 – How to Use Created Excel Template
Once you have created your excel templates and are made the changes to the workbook or worksheet, click “Save As Type” & you can save it in the format ‘Excel Template (*.xltx)’ if there is no macro. (Using Office 2016). If a macro is present, use the format Excel Macro-Enabled Template (*.xltm)
The screenshot is shown below:
We saved it as ‘xltm’ since there was a macro present.
- Now that we have saved the created excel template, we can utilize it like the way I showed, when selecting a standard template. Open an excel workbook.
- Go to File >- New >-
You will see a similar screen like the below screenshot.
You can see a “PERSONAL” category adjacent to the “FEATURED” one. All your personal templates will be present here.
Go to the Personal one, and double click the template “personal template” (the name that you gave to your template). On clicking it, you will see a workbook, with all the initial settings already present which you don’t need to do again.
See the screenshot below for your reference.
Things to Remember About Create Templates in Excel
- Using an excel template is about creating a perfect first copy, and then duplicate it many times. So, invest an awful lot of time in designing the first copy.
- Depending on whether a macro is present or not in your template, save it according. If the macro is present, save it as “.xltm” file. Otherwise, you can save it in “xlt” file extension.
- The created excel templates will be present in a different section called “PERSONAL” apart from the already present ones in the “FEATURED” section.
This has been a guide to Create Templates in Excel. Here we discuss how to create a Custom Excel Template along with practical examples and a downloadable template. You may learn more about excel from the following articles –