Creating workbook templates

The book.xltx and sheet.xltx templates discussed in the preceding section are two special types of templates that determine default settings for new workbooks and new worksheets. This section discusses other types of templates, referred to as workbook templates, which are simply workbooks that you set up as the basis for new workbooks or worksheets.

Why use a workbook template? The simple answer is that it saves you from repeating work. Assume that you create a monthly sales report that consists of your company's sales by region, plus several summary calculations and charts. You can create a template file that consists of everything except the input values. Then, when it's time to create your report, you can open a workbook based on the template, fill in the blanks, and be finished.

Note You could, of course, just use the previous month's workbook and save it with a different name. This is prone to errors, however, because you easily can forget to use the Save As command and accidentally overwrite the previous month's file. Another option is to use the New From Existing icon in the New Workbook dialog box. This creates a new workbook from an existing one, but gives a different name to ensure that the old file is not overwritten.

When you create a workbook that is based on a template, the default workbook name is the template name with a number appended. For example, if you create a new workbook based on a template named Sales Report. xltx, the workbook's default name is Sales Reportl. xlsx. The first time that you save a workbook that is created from a template, Excel displays its Save As dialog box so that you can give the template a new name if you want to.

A custom template is essentially a normal workbook, and it can use any Excel feature, such as charts, formulas, and macros. Usually, a template is set up so that the user can enter values and get immediate results. In other words, most templates include everything but the data, which is entered by the user.

Note If your template contains macros, it must be saved as an Excel Macro-Enabled Template, with an XLTM extension.

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