MS-Excel / Getting Started

Creating and Using Excel 2007 Templates

A template is essentially a model that serves as the basis for something else. An Excel template is a workbook that's used to create other workbooks. We discusses some of the templates included with Excel and also describes how to create your own template files. Creating a template takes some time, but in the long run, doing so may save you a lot of work.

Exploring Excel Templates

The best way to become familiar with Excel template files is to jump in and try a few. Most versions of Excel include template files, but Excel 2007 gives you quick access to hundreds of such files.

Viewing templates

To explore the Excel templates, choose Office button> New to display the New Workbook dialog box. The templates listed in the New Workbook dialog box are shown:

Blank and Recent:
This is the default category. From here you can select Recently Used Templates. Select a template and click Create to open a copy of the template file.

Installed Templates:
This category displays a gallery of templates installed in your system. Select a template and click Create to open a copy of the selected template.

My Templates:
This category contains templates you previously saved in the Templates folder or in a subfolder in the Templates folder. Click My Templates to display the New dialog box. Templates you create in the Templates folder appear in the My Templates tab. If you saved Templates in one or more subfolders in the Templates folder, the folder names appear as tabs in the New dialog box. Select a template from a tab and click OK. Excel opens a copy of the template.

New from Existing:
This category allows you to use any workbook as a template or to use a template file that's not in the Templates folder. Click New from Existing to display the New from Existing Workbook dialog box. Navigate to the folder containing the file you want to use as a template, select the file in the folder, and click Create New. Excel opens a copy of the file.

Microsoft Office Online:
If you are connected to the Internet, you can select from one of the online categories and Excel will display a list of available templates in the selected category. Choose a template, click Download, and Excel opens a copy of the template.

In addition, the right side of the dialog box displays a list of templates that you've used recently. The Microsoft Office Online section contains a number of categories, and some categories have subcategories. Click a category (or subcategory), and you'll see the available templates. Use the View button to change how the templates are displayed (either thumbnails or details). Either view shows a preview of them template in the right panel.

Microsoft Office Online has a wide variety of templates, and some are better than others. If you download a few duds, don't give up. Even though a template may not be perfect, you can often modify a template to meet your needs. Modifying an existing template is often easier than creating a workbook from scratch.

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