Ready-to-use templates are a fantastic innovation because they provide fine-tuned worksheets without forcing you to write a single formula. Of course, these templates also have a major drawback: no matter how crafty Microsoft programmers are, or how much money Bill Gates spends, they can't predict your every need.
For example, the Travel Services Invoice provides a generic worksheet that a travel agency might use to bill its customers. But what if you need to group different types of expenses separately, apply different discount rates to various groups, include a late fee, and tack on a few miscellaneous charges to pad your company's bottom line? If that's the case, you need to add your own formulas, restrictions, and formatting to the template. In this situation, starting over from scratch and creating a template with the exact features you need is probably easier.
Fortunately, creating custom templates isn't difficult at all.
Earlier in this chapter, you learned how to create a new workbook by choosing a template from the Templates dialog box. In order to understand how to create your own templates, you need to know how the Templates dialog box works— namely, how does Excel find the templates that are installed on your computer?
The answer is a little tricky because Excel actually offers three types of templates, all of which can appear in the Templates dialog box. (To open the Templates dialog box, select File → New and, in the New ...