In a couple of recent blog posts we’ve been looking at how easy it is to create professional looking financial models in Excel. The trick is developing a short simple set of formatting rules and applying them consistently. We’ve seen how you can store those rules in a separate tab and use Excel’s format painter to copy and paste them across your model. Alternatively, you can save your formatting rules and apply them using Excel’s ‘cell styles’ feature.

Saving an Excel template

What we’re imagining above is a reference Excel template that contains your formatting and style rules. Wouldn’t it be great to have that reference template (with its style rules) automatically available to you every time you create a new spreadsheet? Fortunately Excel makes this really easy. All you have to do is save your reference spreadsheet as a template.

How to save your spreadsheet as a template

Here’s how to save an Excel spreadsheet as a template. Go “File” > “Save As” (or just press “F12”). Under “Save as type” select “Excel Template (*xltx)”.

How to save your Excel spreadsheet as a template

That’s it – that’s all you have to do! Now whenever you open Excel your favourite cell styles and formatting rules will be available to you under “File” > “New” > “My templates”.

How to open an Excel template

If you want a copy of the example above (so you can save it as an Excel template for yourself), just click on the picture to download it.

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