Tips and Tricks – Take an Easy Shortcut with Excel Templates

Save time in Excel by building your own template.

If you and your colleagues regularly work with the same kind of data in Excel, templates can save you hours of time. Whenever you find you’re repeatedly opening, renaming, or changing the data in the same spreadsheet, it’s time to make a template for it.

Microsoft has several templates available to choose from online. In Excel, open New Workbook task pane and select Templates on Office Online.

Still can’t find what you need? No problem. You can build your own.

When the spreadsheet is open, go to Data and Validation. The drop-down lists let you put limits on the kind

of data that can be entered in the template. This will help you avoid errors later on.

Next you’ll want to protect your format and your formulas to make sure other users don’t make costly changes while entering new data.

Select the cells in which data can be entered, click on Format | Cells and click on the Protection tab. Deselect Locked. Then choose Tools | Protection | Protect Sheet. Select the actions that you want to allow users to do, then select Protect worksheet and contents of locked cells. Finally, click on File then Properties then Summary. Enter the details and enable the Save Picture Preview option. Go to File and Save As. Select Template from the drop-down menu and give your template a name before clicking on Save.

When you’re ready to use the template, go to File | New. On the right, go to Templates and click on My Computer. Double click on your template, and you’re all set.

About Brent Whitfield

Brent Whitfield is CEO of DCG Technical Solutions, Inc., which provides IT Support in the Los Angeles area since 1993. DCG exists to help our clients choose, implement, and manage IT and cloud solutions that are cost effective and reliable. DCG's pro-active approach to IT is ideally suited for companies who depend on reliable IT infrastructure, but don't want to spend a lot of money to keep it that way. DCG was recognized among the Top 10 Fastest Growing MSPs in North America by MSP Mentor. Brent has been featured in Fast Company, CNBC, Network Computing, Reuters, and Yahoo Business.

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