Quick Tech Question: Excel Stylesheets

Quick tech question: Why are there no style sheets in Excel for graphs? Drives me flipping crazy recreating my preferred appearance every darn time.


  1. Paul, I know exactly what you mean. You can do one of two things.
    First, you can change the template for new sheets by creating a new sheet and formatting it the way you like, clicking “Save As”, changing the Save Type to “Template”, then saving it as:
    C:\Documents and Settings\[your user name]\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART\book.xlt
    This should now be the starting formatting for all new sheets.
    You can also create a macro that takes a new sheet and formats it the way you like. Then you just run the marco (one click) every time you create a new spreadsheet.
    Hope this helps.

  2. Oops, just noticed you were talking about graphs…haha, disregard my previous post.

  3. Who’s Quich? :-)

  4. I have an old version of xls (and I use a mac), but you should be able to define Custom Types for charts. On the chart you like, go to Chart > Chart Type > Custom Types > Select User-Defined > Click “Add…”
    You should be able to then use the style when creating new charts… (These instructions are for 2003 Excel on Mac, but I remember the feature being there in pc versions a while back, so I’d guess it should still be there.)

  5. You can also do the following: once you create the chart you like, you save it in a workbook. Then, when you need to create a similar chart with different data, you open both the new workbook and the old one and then select the original chart. You click on the right mouse button and choose “Move or Copy…” Copying is allowed from one workbook to the other. Then, you select the chart and click on it with the right button again to edit the source data to match your new data. Not very intuitive but should work.

  6. Use a VBA macro to change the chart settings…

  7. It’s not a full style sheet, but you can reset the standard colors by going to Options and the Colors tab. Just discovered this after years of manually changing every line graph to red, blue and green on a white background.

  8. Paul,
    This is easy… you need to save your prefered style as “user defined.”
    Here are the steps:
    1. Design a chart that you like.
    2. Right click on it, select “Chart Type.”
    3. Select “Cutom Types” tab.
    4. Select “User Defined” radio button.
    5. Click “Add” button and name your new style.
    That’s it!
    You can also set any chart type (built in or custom) to the “default” style.
    Hope that helps!