Create and maintain Excel templates

Applies to
Microsoft Excel 2000

A template is an Excel workbook with content and formatting that you use as a model to create other similar workbooks. You set options and enter data in a template, and then when you base new workbooks on the template, the new workbooks receive the same settings and initially contain the same data.

Example workbooks created from template

Templates save you time when you need to create several workbooks with similar features, and can help you standardize the appearance and content of workbooks used in your company. Because a template provides only the information and settings you want to reuse, it's faster than copying an existing workbook and deleting old information from it.

For example, you want everyone in your group to provide information each month about their project schedules and how much of the budget they've spent. You combine this information in a report, so you want the same information in the same order from each employee.

To make this job easy, you can set up a worksheet with a row for each project and labels for the information you want in each column, even include the amount budgeted for each project, apply any other formats you want, then save the workbook as a template. Every month, your employees each create a new workbook from this template, fill in the information, and send it to you. By using the template, everyone automatically gets the information in the right order and format, so it's easy for you to compile your monthly spending report.

How do templates work?

Templates are a separate Excel file type, with extension .xlt, that you can specify for Excel to use when you create a new workbook. You can use templates to create entire workbooks or to create new worksheets within existing workbooks.

Excel provides several options for making templates available. You can make a template available as the default, so it's used for every worksheet or workbook you create. If you want to use a template occasionally, you can make it available for your personal use. To share a template with other users, you can locate it in a shared template folder on your network.

Once you make a template available, it becomes one of the choices in the New dialog box when you click New on the File menu. When you select a template in this dialog box, Excel then creates a new workbook that automatically duplicates the settings and other contents that you saved in the template.

What information can a template include?

Features that you can save in a template for replication to new workbooks include formatting, styles, standard text including page headers and footers, macros, and more.

For information about the settings and other information Microsoft Excel can save in a template, type settings saved in a template in the Office Assistant or on the Answer Wizard tab in the Excel Help window, and then click Search.

Download the sample template

This article includes a template that you can download and use, to see how templates work. This template includes a worksheet that describes how the template was created. Download the Excel 2000 sample template from Downloads on Microsoft Office Online.