How to Create a Chart Template in Microsoft Excel


Microsoft Excel logo on a green background

Creating a chart in Microsoft Excel is a reasonably simple process, but it’s the customizations you apply that take the most time. So, if you create a chart and want to reuse the colors and formatting, save it as a template!

By turning your hard work into a reusable template, you can save time later. Plus, you can hang onto those company colors or specific formatting you spent so much time applying. Best of all, you can use a chart template in any Excel workbook and sheet once you save it.

RELATED: How to Save Time with Excel Themes

Save a Chart as a Template

Whether you already have a chart or graph you want to save or are planning to save the next chart you create, it’s easy enough.

RELATED: How to Create and Customize a Waterfall Chart in Microsoft Excel

Right-click the chart and select “Save as Template.”

Select Save as Template

Give your template a name and click “Save.” Now your template is saved and ready for you to reuse.

Name the template and click Save

Use a Saved Chart Template

When you want to use a template you’ve saved, this is also super simple. Select the data for the chart as you normally would to create any new chart.

RELATED: How to Create and Customize a Pareto Chart in Microsoft Excel

Go to the Insert tab and click “Recommended Charts” in the Charts section of the ribbon.

Go to Insert, Recommended Charts

Select the All Charts tab at the top of the pop-up window and pick “Templates” on the left. You’ll then see your saved templates on the right.

Choose Templates and pick the template

Choose the template and click “OK.” You’ll see the chart pop onto your sheet with your data selection.

Chart template inserted in Excel

If you already have a chart in your sheet and then decide to apply the template, this is doable as well. Select the chart, go to the Chart Design tab that displays, and click “Change Chart Type.”

Go to Chart Design, Change Chart Type

You’ll then see the Insert Chart window described above where you can choose “Templates” and select your template.

Even though you use a template, you can still make adjustments to your chart. So, you can change the colors and alter the formatting without it affecting the saved template. Any changes you make only apply to the current chart.

Match the Document Theme

If you decide after using the template to create your new chart that you prefer to keep the current theme for your document, no problem!

RELATED: How to Create and Customize a Treemap Chart in Microsoft Excel

Right-click the chart and select “Reset to Match Style.”

Select Reset to Match Style

You’ll see your chart update immediately to match the theme you chose for your document and disregard the colors and formatting you saved with the template.

Chart updated to match the document theme

If you go for consistency when making charts in Excel for your business or organization, consider saving a template to cut down on chart creation time later.

If you often create the same kind of sheets in Excel, you can also save time by creating and saving your own spreadsheet template.

RELATED: How to Make a Bar Chart in Microsoft Excel

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