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Save Time with Excel Chart Templates


Many Excel users find themselves reinventing the wheel with regard to certain tasks, such as creating charts. Indeed, it can be tedious and time-consuming to ensure that charts within our documents have a consistent look-and-feel. Fortunately, you can utilize the Save as Template command in Excel to easily transform your charts to the expect specifications you need.

The first step is to create your chart in the usual fashion, and apply any desired customizations, including styles, font and number formats, and so on. From there the next step depends upon your version of Excel:

Excel 2013 and later: Right-click on the chart, near one of the edges, and then choose Save as Template. If you don't see this command, you may have inadvertently right-clicked on what's known as the Plot Area, which is the inner part of the chart that actually presents your data, or perhaps on the title, legend or other aspect.

Excel 2010 and earlier: Click once on your chart, and then choose the Save As Template command on the Design menu.

Assign a name to your template within the Save Chart Template dialog box, in the same fashion as you'd save an Excel workbook. Excel will save the chart template in a special location for easy access later, so don't change the folder name or location. These steps are illustrated in steps 1 through 4 in the figure. As shown in steps A through G, going forward you can easily create a chart from a new data set. Alternatively, you can click once on an existing chart, choose Change Chart Type from the Design menu, and then carry out steps E through G to apply your template. The chart shown in the figure is presenting data on two different axes, which sometimes multiple steps to apply, depending upon your version of Excel. Chart templates make it as simple as selecting the chart, and then all of the necessary settings are applied at once.

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