Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Saving Custom Formats.

Saving Custom Formats

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 23, 2016)

Excel provides quite a bit of flexibility in creating custom formats for cells in a workbook. In fact, depending on the needs of your data, you can spend quite a bit of time formatting cells so they look the way you want them to.

At some point you may get tired of doing the same formatting over and over again, and begin to wonder if there is a way to save your custom formats so you don't have to redefine them all the time. Unfortunately, there is not a full-featured way to save formats within Excel. You can get around this shortcoming quite easily, however. The trick is to define the cell formats as you want them, and then save the workbook as a template that you can later use as a basis for your future workbooks. All you need to do is use the Save As command and make sure the File Type drop-down list (at the bottom of the Save As dialog box) is set to Template.

As has been described in other issues of ExcelTips, you could replace your default workbook template with the new template you create, and then it becomes the basis for all new workbooks. All you need to do is give the template the name Book.xlt and save it in the XLSTART folder. (The XLSTART folder is in different places on different systems; use the Find feature of Windows to locate where it is on yours.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2478) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Saving Custom Formats.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Quickly Finding Synonyms

If you need to find some synonyms for a specific word in your document, here's how you can do it. (Hint: All you need to do ...

Discover More

A Shortcut for Switching Focus

While not technically an Excel-only tip, the shortcuts described in this tip will help you switch focus from your workbook to ...

Discover More

Rounding to the Nearest Half Dollar

When working with financial data, it's easy to round values to the nearest dollar. What if you want them rounded to the ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Using Fractional Number Formats

If you want information to display on the screen using fractions instead of decimals, you're in luck. Excel provides ...

Discover More

Changing Character Spacing

Excel allows you to adjust spacing between cell walls and the contents of those cells. It does not, however, allow you to ...

Discover More

Understanding Date and Time Formatting Codes

Want to apply a custom format to your dates and times? To do it effectively you need to understand the custom formatting ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 8 - 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.