Save a workbook as a template

If you often use the same layout or data in a workbook, save it as a template so you can use the template to create more workbooks instead of starting from scratch.

You can use one of your own templates to create a new workbook, or you can use one of the many predefined templates that you can download from Microsoft Office Online.

Save a workbook as a template

  1. If you’re saving a workbook to a template for the first time, start by setting the default personal templates location:

    1. Click File > Options.

    2. Click Save, and then under Save workbooks, enter the path to the personal templates location in the Default personal templates location box.

      This path is typically: C:\Users\[UserName]\Documents\Custom Office Templates.

      Options you can set for saving workbooks

    3. Click OK.

      Once this option is set, all custom templates you save to the My Templates folder automatically appear under Personal on the New page (File > New).

  2. Open the workbook you want to use as a template.

  3. Click File > Export.

  4. Under Export, click Change File Type.

  5. In the Workbook File Types box, double-click Template.

  6. In the File name box, type the name you want to use for the template.

  7. Click Save, and then close the template.

Create a workbook based on the template

With the template you created above, you can create a new workbook. This section tells you how to do that.

Note: Alternately, you can browse for various online templates in Excel and use them instead. For more information, see Download free, pre-built templates.

  1. Click File > New.

  2. Click Personal.

    Personal templates location

  3. Double-click the template you just created.

    Excel creates a new workbook that is based on your template.

Save a workbook as a template

  1. Open the workbook that you want to use as a template.

  2. Click File, and then click Save As.

  3. In the File name box, type the name that you want to use for the template.

  4. In the Save as type box, click Excel Template, or click Excel Macro-Enabled Template if the workbook contains macros that you want to make available in the template.

  5. Click Save.

    The template is automatically placed in the Templates folder to ensure that it will be available when you want to use it to create a new workbook.

Tip: You can copy any Excel workbook into the Templates folder, then you can use the workbook as a template without saving it in the template file format (.xltx or .xltm). In Windows Vista, the Templates folder is usually C:\Users\<your name>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates. In Microsoft Windows XP, the Templates folder is usually C:\Documents and Settings\<your name>\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates.

Use a template to create a new workbook

  1. Click File and then click New.

  2. Under Available Templates, do one of the following:

    • To base the workbook on a recently used template, click Recent Templates, and then double-click the template that you want to use.

    • To base the workbook on an installed template, click Sample templates and then double-click the template that you want to use.

    • To base the workbook on a template that you created, click My templates, and then on the Personal Templates tab, double-click the template that you want to use.

    • To base the workbook on another workbook, click New from Existing, and then double-click the workbook that you want to use.

Tip: When you are connected to the Internet, you can also access templates that are available from Office.com. Under Office.Com Templates, click a template category, and then under that category, double-click the template that you want to download. If the template that you want to download has been supplied by a member of the Microsoft Office.com Community, you must click I accept to accept the License Agreement for Community Templates Terms of Use before you can download that template.

Save a workbook as a template

  1. Open the workbook that you want to use as a template.

  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button Office button image , and then click Save As.

  3. In the File name box, type the name that you want to use for the template.

  4. In the Save as type box, click Excel Template, or click Excel Macro-Enabled Template if the workbook contains macros that you want to make available in the template.

  5. Click Save.

    The template is automatically placed in the Templates folder to ensure that it will be available when you want to use it to create a new workbook.

Tip: You can copy any Excel workbook into the Templates folder, then you can use the workbook as a template without saving it in the template file format (.xltx or .xltm). In Windows Vista, the Templates folder is usually C:\Users\<your name>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates. In Microsoft Windows XP, the Templates folder is usually C:\Documents and Settings\<your name>\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates.

Use a template to create a new workbook

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button Office button image , and then click New.

  2. Under Templates, do one of the following:

    • To base the workbook on a recently used template, click Blank and recent, and then under Recently Used Templates, double-click the template that you want to use.

    • To base the workbook on an installed template, click Installed Templates, and then under Installed Templates, double-click the template that you want to use.

    • To base the workbook on a template that you created, click My templates, and then on the My Templates tab, double-click the template that you want to use.

    • To base the workbook on another workbook, click New from Existing, and then double-click the workbook that you want to use.

Tip: When you are connected to the Internet, you can also access templates that are available from Office Online. Under Microsoft Office Online, click a template category, and then under that category, double-click the template that you want to download. If the template that you want to download has been supplied by a member of the Microsoft Office Online Community, you must click I accept to accept the License Agreement for Community Templates Terms of Use before you can download that template.

Connect with an expert
Contact us
Expand your skills
Explore training

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×