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Excel 2010: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald

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Creating Templates

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 clever Microsoft programmers are, they can't predict your every need.

For example, the Travel Services Invoice provides a generic worksheet that a travel agency may 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'd need to add your own formulas, restrictions, and formatting to the template. In that case, 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.

Tip

You can use one of Excel's templates as a starting point for your own templates. Just follow the process described earlier, edit the template (by adding information, changing formatting, and so on), and then save it as a new template. However, you'll generally find it easier (at least at first) to create your own templates from scratch.

Understanding Custom Templates

Earlier in this chapter, you learned how to create a new workbook by choosing a template in backstage view. In order to understand how to create your own templates, you need to know how this feature works—namely, how ...

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