MS-Excel / Excel 2003

Saving Custom Display Settings

While it's all well and good that Excel gives you plenty of choices for customizing its screen display, it sure would be a waste of time if you had to manually modify all the various screen settings each time you started working on a new workbook. Fortunately, you can save your custom display settings as an Excel template, and then any time you need to generate a new spreadsheet that uses those settings, you can do so simply by opening the template.

Creating a template

To create an Excel template with your custom display settings, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Excel and then manually make all the changes to the display settings that you want saved in the new template.
    When making changes to display settings for a template, select the settings that you find yourself manually changing over and over again (such as inserting an additional worksheet, removing the gridlines, and selecting a new standard column width). When entering display values (such a new default column width or row height), select the value.
  2. Choose File → Save or click the Save button on the Standard toolbar to open the Save As dialog box.
  3. From the Save as Type drop-down list, choose Template (*.xlt),
  4. Highlight the temporary filename (Book1, Book2, and so on) in the File Name combo box (be sure you don't select the .xlt filename extension) and then type in a descriptive name for the new template.
    When replacing the temporary filename with one of your own, pick a brief name that describes the new settings, such as 15 Wide Col, No Gridlines, or 4-Sht Book. Be aware that when you generate a workbook from the template you're creating, Excel uses the main filename in the workbook's temporary filename as in 15 Wide Col1, No Gridlines2, and 4-Sht Book3.
  5. Click Save to close the Save As dialog box and save your settings in the new template file.

Using a template

To use your template to generate a new workbook with your custom display settings, follow these steps:

  1. If the template is currently open, close it by choosing File → Close on the menu bar or by pressing Ctrl+W.
    You must close a new template file before you can generate files from it.
  2. Choose File → New to open the New Workbook task pane.
    To use your new template, don't click the New button on the Standard toolbar or press the keystroke shortcut Ctrl+N. Doing so automatically opens a new workbook using the Excel out-of-the-box settings, giving you no opportunity to generate the new book from any other template. Choose File → New on the menu bar instead.
  3. Select the On My Computer link under the Templates section of the New Workbook task pane.
    The Templates dialog box opens.
  4. Double-click the name of the template you want to use, or click its name and then click OK.

Excel opens up a new blank workbook from the template file, using all the custom display settings thatyou saved as part of it.

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