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Creating a Default Workbook Template in Microsoft Excel


Many Excel users find themselves making the same changes to their workbooks repeatedly. For instance, you may always change the font name or font size for your workbooks. Or there may be a number format that you'd like automatically applied to your workbooks. You can make a couple of these changes in Excel's Options dialog box, but the rest must be accomplished via a custom template.

To change the font name or font size for your workbooks going forward:

  1. Click on the File menu in Excel (or the round Office button in the top left-hand corner of the Excel 2007 window).
  2. Choose Options (sometimes labeled Excel Options).
  3. The first set of options is labeled General (or Popular in Excel 2007). Here you'll find the ability to manage the default font, as well as the default font size.
  4. Click OK to save your changes.

The figure illustrates how to save other types of changes to your default workbooks:

  1. Make any changes you wish, such as row heights, column widths, number format, and so on. It's important to click the button at the top left-hand corner of the worksheet to select all cells before applying formatting changes, otherwise you may end up only affecting a small subset of cells.
  2. Click on the File menu (or Office button).
  3. Choose Save As. Depending upon your Excel version you may need to click on Browse or Computer buttons to display the Save As dialog box in Excel.
  4. Within the Save As dialog box type the following text into the File Name field:


If Excel reports that the XLSTART folder doesn't exist, create a folder named XLSTART within the Excel folder. %appdata% is a short cut for accessing the Application Data folder on your computer. Make sure that the name of the file itself is Book, and not Book1 or any additional characters.

  1. Make sure that the Save As Type is set to Excel Template (as opposed to an Excel Workbook).
  2. Click the Save button.

Going forward any new workbooks will have the characteristics that you applied in step 1.


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