TL;DR: Templates and styles are essential tools for beginner spreadsheet users, offering a way to save time, maintain consistency, and create professional-looking spreadsheets. Built-in templates and styles are available in most spreadsheet software, with additional third-party templates accessible online. Users can also create their own custom templates and styles to better suit their specific needs. By leveraging templates and styles, beginners can streamline their spreadsheet experience and focus on the more important aspects of their work.

As a beginner spreadsheet user, you may have already explored the basic features and functions of spreadsheet software, such as creating tables, charts, and performing calculations. However, as you gain more experience and start working with more complex data sets, you might find yourself spending a considerable amount of time on formatting and organizing your spreadsheets to make them more presentable and easy to understand. This is where templates and styles come in handy. In this article, we will introduce you to the world of templates and styles, showing you how they can help you customize your spreadsheet experience and make your work more efficient and visually appealing.

Understanding Templates

A template is a pre-formatted spreadsheet file that serves as a starting point for creating new spreadsheets with a similar structure, design, and layout. Templates can save you time and effort by providing a consistent look and feel for your spreadsheets, as well as including predefined formulas, charts, and other elements that are commonly used in specific types of spreadsheets. Some common examples of spreadsheet templates include budget planners, project management sheets, and invoice templates.

Where to Find Templates

Most spreadsheet software, such as Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets, comes with a collection of built-in templates that you can use as a starting point for your projects. To access these templates, simply create a new file and browse through the available templates to find one that suits your needs. You can also search for specific templates using keywords, or filter templates by category, such as Business, Education, or Personal.

In addition to built-in templates, you can also find a vast array of third-party templates online, created by other spreadsheet users or specialized websites. Some popular sources for free spreadsheet templates include Vertex42, Spreadsheet123, and Before using a third-party template, make sure to review the template's license terms and conditions, as well as verify that the template is compatible with your spreadsheet software.

Creating Your Own Templates

If you can't find a built-in or third-party template that meets your requirements, you can always create your own custom template. To do this, simply create a new spreadsheet, format it according to your preferences, and then save it as a template file. In Microsoft Excel, you can save a file as a template by choosing "Save As" and selecting "Excel Template (*.xltx)" as the file type. In Google Sheets, you can create a new template by selecting "File" > "Make a Copy" and saving the copy as a new file.

Once you have created and saved your custom template, you can use it as a starting point for creating new spreadsheets with the same structure, design, and layout. This can be especially useful if you need to create multiple spreadsheets with similar content, or if you want to share a consistent look and feel across different spreadsheets within your organization.

Exploring Styles

Styles are predefined sets of formatting options that can be applied to cells, rows, columns, or entire spreadsheets to give them a consistent and professional appearance. Most spreadsheet software comes with a collection of built-in styles that you can use to quickly format your data, such as "Heading 1", "Heading 2", "Total", or "Currency".

To apply a style to a cell, row, or column, simply select the desired range and choose the appropriate style from the "Styles" gallery, which can usually be found in the "Home" tab or the "Format" menu. You can also create custom styles by modifying existing styles or creating new ones from scratch. To create a new custom style, right-click on an existing style in the "Styles" gallery and choose "Duplicate" or "New Style", and then customize the formatting options as needed.

The Benefits of Using Templates and Styles

Using templates and styles in your spreadsheets offers several benefits, including:

  1. Consistency: By using templates and styles, you can maintain a consistent look and feel across your spreadsheets, making them more professional and easier to read.

  2. Efficiency: Templates and styles save you time by allowing you to quickly apply pre-formatted layouts, designs, and formatting options, rather than manually setting up each element every time you create a new spreadsheet.

  3. Collaboration: If you work with a team, using templates and styles ensures that everyone is using the same formatting standards, which can help streamline the collaborative process and minimize formatting inconsistencies.

  4. Adaptability: With templates and styles, you can easily update the design and formatting of your spreadsheets without having to modify each individual element. For example, if you decide to change the color scheme or font style, you can simply update the relevant style, and the changes will be applied automatically to all the cells, rows, or columns that use that style.

  5. Customization: While built-in templates and styles can cover many common scenarios, you also have the option to create your own custom templates and styles to suit your specific needs and preferences.


Templates and styles are powerful tools that can help you customize your spreadsheet experience and make your work more efficient, visually appealing, and professional. By taking advantage of built-in templates and styles, as well as creating your own custom versions, you can save time, maintain consistency across your spreadsheets, and focus on the more important aspects of your work, such as analyzing and interpreting your data. As you continue to explore the world of spreadsheets, don't hesitate to experiment with templates and styles to find the best solutions for your needs.

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