Benefits of Templates in Microsoft Excel

April 26, 2011, By Christian Cawley

There is more to Microsoft Excel than adding together a few numbers, creating charts and graphs and performing numerical analysis.

As well as being suitable for opening and editing CSV files and various other non-math uses, Microsoft Excel features a variety of different templates that are built into the software to help you to save time when creating new spreadsheet projects.

For instance you might be interested in creating an agenda or a calendar, issuing receipts or developing plans; you will find a vast selection of different choices available within Excel and at Microsoft Office online.

The following notes are written for Windows users, however Mac users with Microsoft Office: Mac 2011 will find that their version of Excel also offers templates.

Benefits of Templates in Microsoft Excel

Finding and Using Templates in Excel

To start using templates in Microsoft Excel, go to File > New, where you will find various categories of templates that are ready for use straight away. Some of these categories will feature subcategories that you will need to open to view the templates within.

By left-clicking each template you will see a preview of what your document might look like, which is displayed on the right-hand side of the window, just above the Download link.

Downloading a template to use in Excel is simple, although note that once downloaded it will always be accessible from your PC.

Simply click Download to add the template to your PC, and begin making changes to suit your needs. For instance if you opted to download a calendar, then click the relevant tab and the add the information you want to be displayed in the template, such as appointments you want to recall, or update the color scheme or add a bit of customization. Ultimately, you can do anything you like with it, but remember to save your changes.

Finding Microsoft Excel Templates Online

While the templates provided as part of Microsoft Excel are useful and can be used to fit many different circumstances, even more can be found online.

There are two ways of finding templates from Microsoft Office Online. The first is to use the search tool in the templates screen in Excel, which will return a variety of different template types that you can use in Excel and allow you to quickly and easily download and use them as described above.

The second is to visit office.microsoft.com, click Templates and use the search tool on that website.

You will notice that searching in the website will take quite some time if you don’t qualify your search with the word “excel”. Once you have found a suitable template for your purpose, select the item, view the profile and if you like it, use the Download button to agree to Microsoft’s terms of use for the template and then click Download again.

A few minutes later you will be using the template!

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