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Excel 2003 for Starters: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald

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Starting from a Template

So far, every sample worksheet in this book has started from scratch, with nothing more than Excel's empty grid of cells. This approach is a great way to learn the nuts and bolts of how Excel works, but it's not always necessary. In fact, Excel provides several time-saving options for creating a new workbook—and the good news is that some of these options give you your first taste of how templates work.

To try out these options, begin by selecting File → New. Excel displays the New Workbook task in the Task Pane (Figure 8-1). This pane provides five choices (the names listed in Excel 2002 differ slightly). In the following list, the first two options don't use templates, while the last three use templates stored in various locations. Here's the full list of choices:

  • Blank workbook. This option creates a new, blank workbook with three worksheets, none of which have any preset formatting or data. This is the option used to create all the sample spreadsheets you've seen so far.

  • From existing workbook. This choice displays a dialog box that lets you choose a spreadsheet file. When you click OK, Excel opens a duplicate version of the selected file, giving it a new name. When you save the spreadsheet, Excel prompts you to supply a new name or to use the one it generated (a variation based on the name of the original workbook). Either way, you end up saving a new copy of the original file.

Note

The "From existing workbook" scheme is conceptually similar to using a template, ...

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