Have you seen them? Well, if you have Excel 2013 there’s no doubt you have, because it’s the opening screen when you open Excel now. Microsoft took a new direction in their featured templates, and has developed hundreds of them which are useful and time-saving.
When Excel is opened to the New section of the Backstage view, you’ll see the latest published list of featured templates. What you’ll see will be something like this:
Of course you can specify and refine your search.
If you select one of these fine looking templates, you’ll get a pop-up showing a snap shot of the template. For example, this is a new one, a weight loss tracker. Select it and you get a pop-up which has a snapshot, and on the right a brief description, file size, rating with number of votes, and a create button. Click Create to download and open this template.
A lot of the new templates don’t even look like Excel. This can be a good thing! Even though millions of people use Excel, designing in it isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Not only do you have to know what controls/functionality there is available to you, but you have to know how to format them, utilize them, and also having a design eye for coloring. Luckily this has already been done in all of Microsoft’s new templates!
In the above file as an example, I downloaded it and there were three tabs. Conveniently there was navigation already at the top of each sheet. If I didn’t know better (or the worksheet tabs were hidden), I could be fooled into thinking that this was all built on one sheet. The navigation for the dashboard looks like this:
And if I click on the DATA ENTRY tab at the top (which is a hyperlink to the second worksheet), I get to input my data in a nicely colored table:
Then clicking on the third tab, BMI INFO (hyperlinked to the third sheet), shows me some nicely formatted data as to how the dashboard sheet was configured:
These templates are much different from what Microsoft has released in the past. This new direction couples both the power and capabilities of Excel, with the beauty and elegance of design. It’s ends up with a very well balance symbiotic relationship, which only spells out benefits for the users. If you haven’t checked the new templates out, there’s quite a few of them which are all free to download. Of course you must have Excel 2013 to see these. A lot of the templates will work in previous version as well. In fact, if you still use Excel 2010, there are some new (ish) templates from Microsoft which show for that app as well (check out Budgets, Home Budgets, “Family Budget (monthly)”).
[…] change, or you can fix this for slicers only. Both are detailed below. I’ve utilized a Microsoft template using Excel 2013 for this example and […]
I would love to make personal templates the default instead of featured templates.
You can still create and keep your templates. 🙂 Nothing says you have to use the new templates. They’re only there to make life easier for those who want to use them. If you have a need for them, the new templates (not all are new) can save you a lot of time. But like all good things ‘Microsoft’, if you don’t want it, ignore it. 🙂
What I would actually love is not to see the template search option as the front page; still looking on how to make this screen more like 2010.
Well, it’s your lucky day Tp. You spoke, they listened, and now you can adjust that setting. (While I’m being sarcastic, you really can set it.) Just click on File | Options | General, look at the very bottom checkbox and uncheck it (hint: it says “Show the Start screen when this application starts.”). 🙂
How do I erase a personal excel template? and what does macro enabled mean>?
Hi Ninfa, sorry I’m just now seeing your post. Been heads down in this book. Erasing a personal template depends on where you saved it. This is the default path:
C:UsersUSERNAMEDocumentsCustom Office Templates
Since you can choose any location, this may or may not house your custom templates.
The new(ish) file formats are broken down into XLSX, XLSM and XLSB. There’s a ton of information on them, but here are the basics.
Standard Excel file. Can do anything in Excel except store a VB Project. You can insert code modules and run code all day long, but they can’t be saved.
Macro-enabled file. Same as XLSX but it can house a VB Project, meaning you can save macros in it. This would be something like a standard code module, class modules, and worksheet or workbook events/code.
Excel binary file. Works the same as XLSM but has a different file format. Can still house macros. File compression is almost always better from the binary format (instead of XML, like the previous two).
Okay, I got rid of the Featured templates on the Startup, but now how do i get rid of them on the “New” screen? I want MY templates to show, not some MS folks’. I got your ‘ignore them’ advice, but it’s hard to ignore the visual cacophony. Please say it can be removed ..or at least not be the default screen every time I hit “New”. Thank you.
Hi John, unfortunately they can’t be removed. You can view your templates, but it’ll still be a click away. They will only show up if you save them to the default path:
C:UsersUSERNAMEDocumentsCustom Office Templates
All templates in that location will show up when you click new. You’ll have to click the “PERSONAL” link, which will be located right under “Suggested searches” and right above where the templates are located. You’ll see “FEATURED” on the left and “PERSONAL” to the right of it. Clicking on the latter will show your templates. Unfortunately you can’t get a screenshot of it in this list, like the Microsoft templates.
Not really what you’re looking for, but it’s the best I know.
Thanks. Maybe after a few months, they will become ‘background noise’ in my vision.
Ken Puls created an add-in for templates. Maybe that would be of interest?
He lists instructions here:
I am having difficulty accessing my personal (custom) template following your instructions from above. I did place the template in the Custom Office Templates folder. But it is not showing up when I click ‘New’.
You stated: “All templates in that location will show up when you click new. You’ll have to click the “PERSONAL” link, which will be located right under “Suggested searches” and right above where the templates are located. You’ll see “FEATURED” on the left and “PERSONAL” to the right of it. Clicking on the latter will show your templates…”
I cannot see a “PERSONAL” link. There is nothing between “Suggested searches” and where the templates are shown.
What am I missing?? Where can I find the PERSONAL link???
I just found the answer to my question – This is what I did to see the PERSONAL and FEATURED link you referred to:
Click File > Options > Save, and then added the location (address) of my custom template in the “Default personal templates” box. (This box had been blank)
Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?
There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content.
Please let me know. Cheers
Of course! I also maintain a blog at http://exceltables.com/blog. Please do share.
Thank you for sharing this blog with your visitors.
We also have two additional blogs you should take a look at.
http://www.vbaexpress.com/forum/blog.php is the blog on VBAX, one of the larger Microsoft VBA Forums.
http://excelhints.com is an Excel Tips & Tricks blog that is being dusted off and put back on the web.
Both offer great content on the various Microsoft applications.
Sad – adding extra clicks to get work done is the WRONG direction for productivity. If I would want a unique, cool “Weight loss” template, I’d immediately type in Google a search for “MS Excel 2013 weight loss template” (some might use Bing)…but it’s CRAZY to subject user to all the templates daily when we have our own designed templates in our specific business.
Also, now we have an extra click past “cloud options” to get to OUR folders in everything that has gone the way of Windows 8 save-as method. Sad. Irritating.
ExcelAndAccess, what do you not know,
Such depth of knowledge and your presentation shows the years of training.
Very nice work
Hi! Do you know if it is possible to change the “Large preview icon” view to a list view, so that I only see the names or maybe only small icons instead of those lagre previews?
You can make them smaller icons, yes. You have to customize the ribbon and add it, but certainly possible. Sounds like a good blog post. 🙂
Thanks for your answer 🙂 Can you please help me understanding what connection do Templates have to the ribbon customisation?
Like many I want to get rid of the shitty “featured” templates and just have my own templates (having worked in excel for over 20 years) but typical of the Microsoft dictators, only they will determine what is best for us — I am going back to excel 2007 a far better product with out all the fancy and pointless shit.
After clicking on “Create” excel opens with the title of the template, but my screen in totally blank. What am I doing wrong?
[…] Microsoft Excel 2013 Templates – Excel and … – […] change, or you can fix this for slicers only. Both are detailed below. I’ve utilized a Microsoft template using Excel 2013 for this example and […] […]
I have the reverse problem. For some reason I cannot see the excel templates. I am using Excel 2013, and the search field is also greyed out. Only a few templates are shown, and nothing else. And I cannot add or view the other templates.