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: Saving Custom Formats.

Saving Custom Formats

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 5, 2020)

2

Excel provides quite a bit of flexibility in creating custom formats for cells in a workbook. In fact, depending on the needs of your data, you can spend quite a bit of time formatting cells so they look the way you want them to.

At some point you may get tired of doing the same formatting over and over again, and begin to wonder if there is a way to save your custom formats so you don't have to redefine them all the time. Unfortunately, there is not a full-featured way to save formats within Excel. You can get around this shortcoming quite easily, however. The trick is to define the cell formats as you want them, and then save the workbook as a template that you can later use as a basis for your future workbooks. All you need to do is use the Save As command and make sure the File Type drop-down list (at the bottom of the Save As dialog box) is set to either Excel Template or Excel Macro-Enabled Template.

As has been described in other issues of ExcelTips, you could replace your default workbook template with the new template you create, and then it becomes the basis for all new workbooks. All you need to do is give the template the name Book.xltx (if it has no macros) or Book.xltm (if it contains macros) and save it in the XLSTART folder. (The XLSTART folder is in different places on different systems; use the Find feature of Windows to locate where it is on yours.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10561) 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: Saving Custom 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

Using TC Fields for Notes

The TC field is normally used in constructing manual Tables of Contents. The way the field works, however, makes it a ...

Discover More

Displaying the Full Ribbon

The ribbon, displayed at the top of the Word window, is very handy with all the tools it allows you to access, but it can ...

Discover More

Controlling Case in Find and Replace

When using Find and Replace, how Word handles the case of letters in replacements can be confusing. It needn't be, if you ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Dates with Periods

You may want Excel to format your dates using a pattern it doesn't normally useâ€"such as using periods instead of ...

Discover More

Custom Formats for Scientific Notation

Excel allows you to format your numeric values in a wide variety of ways. One such formatting option is to display ...

Discover More

Displaying Negative Percentages in Red

Excel includes quite a few different formats you can use for the information in a worksheet. One format that isn't as ...

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 eight more than 6?

2020-12-09 07:05:11

Paul

I use Styles on the Home tab to save cell formats - click in a cell which has the required formatting, click the More button at the bottom right of the Styles gallery and choose New Style. You can then name the style, choose which types of formatting to save in the style and tweak as necessary.

Styles only appear in the workbook where they are created, but you can use the Merge Styles option on the menu to import styles from any open workbook.


2020-12-05 10:40:35

J. Woolley

My Excel Toolbox has macros to backup and restore a worksheet's conditional formatting using named ranges, which auto-adjust to worksheet changes. It also includes the ListFormatConditions array function. See https://sites.google.com/view/MyExcelToolbox/


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.