Spreadsheet Templates are used to create new, standardized spreadsheets, and ideally should be customizable. Spreadsheet software presents the data from tables in a range of graphical or formulated ways, using formatted tables, formulas to manipulate and present the data, images, charts, and other visual presentation tools. There are also various Excel Training courses available to help you learn Excel and how to use Excel spreadsheet templates.

SpreadsheetUsing a spreadsheet template in Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice Calc, Google Sheets or other spreadsheet software provides a pre-formatted and designed layout often ready to start inputting data and analysing it straight away. A Spreadsheet Template can also be customised to the business in design, or adjusted to match the required data input or data analysis, charts etc. A good example would be a Budget Spreadsheet Template for use in Excel, OpenOffice, or Google Sheets.

A good spreadsheet template will include features such as formulas to manipulate the data is predetermined ways, charts to help visualise the spreadsheet data and track progress, and clear navigation and layout making it easier to find and use features, relevant summaries and calculations across multiple sheets as required.

There are a number of spreadsheet programs that use templates, from Microsoft Excel and OpenOffice Calc, to Google Sheets. See Template Types for a list of the wide range available.

Using spreadsheet templates is often seen as difficult or something that can be complicated, so many users will avoid using them, and miss the benefits of improving the speed and consistency of creating new documents or spreadsheets in day to day office business. See our section on Using Templates for more information.

Once the use of spreadsheet templates is mastered the next stage is to start creating your own, and editing those that you have been given to work with, or have downloaded. These powerful features are described in our Creating Templates section.

This is an example of a Budget Spreadsheet Template taken from the MS Excel set of free spreadsheet templates that are found by using the File menu to select New from Template. There are many general and specific spreadsheet templates available for budget spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice Calc and Google Sheets. Note the color scheme, layout boxes, the headings ready for values to be added, and the formulas built in to add and subtract values, and provide a variety of summaries of the data being input. Everything that is common between spreadsheets, such as categories, headings and formulas, has been included, leaving only the values to be entered.

This illustrates the power of using templates, and if this was a business spreadsheet such as an invoice, time sheet, receipt or stock list, then it would provide a standardised document across the business that could be used as the base for all new spreadsheets for a particular task. Free customizable spreadsheet templates can be found on the application websites, such as the Excel Template Gallery, the OpenOffice Template Gallery, or the templates section in Google Sheets.

Excel Training and Google Sheets Training should be considered, especially for assisting the novice user to quickly understand the basics of spreadsheet templates, how to manage them, edit them and customize them.

Budget Spreadsheet Template

Below is the quickest method of finding spreadsheet templates in Microsoft Excel. From an open work sheet simply use the File menu and select New from Template to open the main Excel window and template gallery.

Spreadsheet Templates

Below is the default Invoice Template in Excel 2018 showing the layout and functions included.

Excel Invoice Template