Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 28, 2015)
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, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Saving Custom Formats.
Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!
Want information in a worksheet to be formatted and displayed as rounded to a power of ten? You may be out of luck, ...Discover More
Adding a custom format to Excel is easy. Having that custom format appear in all your workbooks is a different story ...Discover More
Want to apply a custom format to your dates and times? To do it effectively you need to understand the custom formatting ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.