Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Creating Custom Chart Formats.

Understanding Custom Chart Templates

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 27, 2019)

There may be times when the built-in chart formats just don't meet your needs. In these instances, you can always make any changes desired to your chart and then save all the chart settings as a chart template. You can then apply these settings to other charts, and you won't have to go through the long or tedious steps necessary to do all the formatting over again.

To create a chart template, follow these steps if you are using Excel 2007 or Excel 2010:

  1. Use whatever formatting commands are necessary to define your chart just the way you want it.
  2. Display the Design tab of the ribbon. (This is visible only when the chart is selected.)
  3. Click Save As Template. Excel displays the Save Chart Template dialog box.
  4. In the File Name box enter the name under which you want this template saved.
  5. Click on Save.

These steps won't work if you are using Excel 2013 or a later version. The reason is simple: The Save As Template tool has been removed from the Design tab of the ribbon. All is not lost, however. Follow these steps, instead:

  1. Use whatever formatting commands are necessary to define your chart just the way you want it.
  2. Right-click on the chart. (Make sure you actually right-click on the chart itself, not on an element within the chart.) Excel displays a Context menu.
  3. Choose the Save As Template option. Excel displays the Save Chart Template dialog box.
  4. In the File Name box enter the name under which you want this template saved.
  5. Click on Save.

Your template is now ready to be used in creating other charts. When you are ready to create a chart and you want to use the template, just display the Insert tab of the ribbon, click the Other Charts tool, and then choose All Chart Types. In the resulting dialog box, you can click on Templates and choose the template you just created.

To create a chart using your template if you are using Excel 2013 or a later version, display the Insert tab of the ribbon and click the small icon in the lower-right corner of the Charts group. Excel displays the Insert Chart dialog box. Make sure the All Charts tab is displayed, click on Templates, and choose the template you just created.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8447) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Creating Custom Chart Formats.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Specifying Your Target Monitor

When using Word to create content that will end up on the Web, it is helpful to know the probably screen resolution of ...

Discover More

Setting Spell-Checking Options

The spell checker can come in handy when entering data in a worksheet. Because the type of data you enter can vary so ...

Discover More

Using Unique Document Serial Numbers

If you need to include serial numbers in your printed matter (labels, letters, documents, etc.), the best way is through ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Locking Callouts to a Graph Location

If you add callouts using the drawing tools in Excel, you may have noticed that they don't always stay where you expect ...

Discover More

Excluding Some Data from a Chart

Excel is a whiz at creating charts from your worksheet data. When the program tries to determine what should be included ...

Discover More

Printing a Chart Across Multiple Pages

Wouldn't it be great to have your huge charts print out on multiple pieces of paper that you could then piece together? ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 + 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.