Spreadsheets are one of the most powerful tools for personal and professional data analysis, and many people find themselves building spreadsheets over and over again to track certain kinds of data. If you find yourself reusing the same spreadsheet every week, month or year, stop retyping it and create a template instead. A spreadsheet template is simply a spreadsheet that you save with a designated file name so that you can use it as a model for new spreadsheets.

Spreadsheet templates are powerful tools

Spreadsheets are one of the most powerful tools for personal and professional data analysis, and many people find themselves building spreadsheets over and over again to track certain kinds of data. If you find yourself reusing the same spreadsheet every week, every month, or every year, stop retyping it and create a template instead.

A template is simply a base sheet with all of your standard headers (name, address), input cells (age), formatting settings (font style), and other elements already in place. This means that when you open up your new spreadsheet document each time you need it, all those pesky details will be complete so that all you have to do is enter the new data for the current project!

A spreadsheet template is simply a spreadsheet that you save with a designated file name, so you can use it as a model for new spreadsheets.

A spreadsheet template is a reusable model for new spreadsheets. When you save the template with a designated file name, it's ready to be used as a model for any number of new spreadsheets. If you get into the habit of creating your own templates, you'll always have an easy way to reuse this information in the future.

Decide on Excel version

The first thing to do when making your spreadsheet templates is to decide which versions of Excel will be supported. A spreadsheet created in Excel 2010 will not work in earlier versions of Excel like Excel 2003.

The first thing to do when making your spreadsheet templates is to decide which versions of Excel will be supported. A spreadsheet created in Excel 2010 will not work in earlier versions of Excel like Excel 2003, but it might also not work on newer versions such as the 2013 version. You can check this out by opening up a template in a version that isn't listed as an option and seeing if there are any errors. If you don't want people using older or newer versions, make sure your template only works with one specific version of the software so they can't accidentally use it incorrectly.

Check formulas

Next, make sure your formulas work as expected. You can test them with some sample data.

You can also check that the data was entered correctly by using another spreadsheet you have on hand (a previous version of the same spreadsheet), or even a different spreadsheet altogether.

Check conditional formatting

Finally, make sure that your conditional formatting works properly with the sample data you’ve included. You can use conditional formatting to highlight important data, find errors in your data and spot patterns in it. If the conditional formatting doesn’t work properly on the sample data, then there’s a good chance that it won't work properly on the larger set of real data either.

Add notes

Once your formulas and formatting are working correctly, you'll want to add notes throughout for the user so they know what to enter where. These notes may include the types of data that should be entered into certain columns (e.g., text vs number), how numbers should be formatted (e.g., currency), and any other important information that the user must know to use the template.

If you're getting ready to export your template, make sure that all of your formatting and formulas are in place. Once that's done, it's time to add notes throughout the spreadsheet for the user so they know what to enter where. These notes may include the types of data that should be entered into certain columns (e.g., text vs number), how numbers should be formatted (e.g., currency), and any other important information that the user must know to use the template.

Always use a simple font and color scheme when adding these notes so as not to clutter up your spreadsheet with unnecessary elements or get in the way of users who like their spreadsheets clean-looking.

Conclusion

The last thing to do is save your template as a .xltx file and then use it. You can either save it on your computer or send it to someone else so they can use it in their own spreadsheets. These steps will help you create a spreadsheet template that's easier for everyone involved to understand and use!

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