When you create a new Workbook in Excel you get the standard three worksheets and the standard (useless) Excel Styles. This means that every time you want to start preparing a workbook, you need to do one of the following to improve the presentation:
- Import Styles from another workbook
- Manually update the presentation with shades, fonts and borders
Setting up a base template with a good suite of Styles can significantly improve the efficiency of financial modelling and is strongly recommended even if you are only working part time in Excel.
If you are a full-time Excel professional and are not yet using Styles then get on it today as it will change your life forever.
Standard Excel Styles and Worksheets
Tailored Excel Template with Styles and Coloured Worksheet tabs
Set up your own starting template in Excel – it is easy!
To set up your own starting template in Excel you simply work through these steps:
- Make sure you can view hidden folders. This can be done by:
My Computer -> Tools -> Folder Options -> View -> Show Hidden Files and Folders
- Create a workbook that contains the Styles you want and the Worksheet structure you prefer. I recommend not to include any other content (headings etc) in this workbook.
- Save the file as Book.xlt (the extension “xlt” means that it is a template rather than a standard workbook) in the following location:C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART
Now once you open up a new workbook all the Styles can be accessed the usual way (ALT + ‘).
Why should you want to have a standard library of Styles in Excel?
The answer is simple – it makes creating perfectly consistent Excel workbooks really quick and easy. The following example takes only seconds to create with perfect consistency and no manual adjustments of the formatting.
If you don’t find this convincing enough then just give it a go anyways – I promise that it is worth it!