How to Import a Template Into Excel

How to Import a Template Into Excel

Excel templates are really powerful and useful tools, especially in such domains as finance, project management, and business administration, where they can significantly increase your work performance and save you time. Ready-to-use structures and formulas available in the templates provide an opportunity for automation, allowing you to pay more attention to your main tasks.

In this blog post, we are going to discuss the greatness of Excel template files, what they’re made of, what types exist, and, most significantly, how to receive and manage them in a proper way.


Preparing to Import Templates Into Excel

An Excel template is a pre-formatted spreadsheet explicitly designed for a special intention which can be budgeting, scheduling, or reporting. Moreover, these templates are made the way you’d like with edge-cutting formulas, charts, and layouts. They can be customized with simple modifications to make sure they fit your wants.

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced user, you can be sure that with templates, you are provided with a rock-solid foundation to base your work on, which leads to reliability and accuracy in your work.

Understanding Template Formats

As we are embarking upon, the first step in the direction of importing a template is that we must get to know the different file formats. Excel templates can have different types of associated file formats. The two different file formats for primary templates are .xltx and .xltm.

The .xltx format is employed when the templates do not involve macros, while .xltm is used for templates with attached macros. These formats are not like regular Excel files (.xlsx and .xls). They serve as a prototype for the creation of new worksheets based on the template’s structure and format.

Sources for Excel Templates

There are many ways to find Excel templates online. The Microsoft Office Templates Gallery site is sure to give you a good start; it has a wide variety of free templates, and you can use them for different needs. Furthermore, many reliable third-party websites give customers free templates that excel in diverse product options.

Choose a template that corresponds to your own specific needs and supports your long-term success by helping you achieve your goals. So, try to find a template with a good description, a balanced arrangement, and the approval marks of end-users.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Importing a Template

Follow the steps below to learn how to import a template into Excel:

Downloading the Template

After picking out the best template, the next activity on the list should be to save it to your computer. Once you find what you want to download, you can keep this in the directory you want.

Store the downloaded template in a location that’s easy to access, like the desktop, or in a special folder for Excel templates.

Importing the Template Into Excel

Step 1: Find the file you downloaded on your computer.

Step 2: Double-click on it and open it in Microsoft Excel.

Step 3: The template will automatically open with Excel, ready for customization.

Step 4: To keep the template for subsequent uses, go to ‘File > Save As’.

Step 5: Select either “Excel Template (.xltx)” or “Excel Macro-Enabled Template (.xltm)” as the file type.

Step 6: Save the file.

Customizing the Template

You can customize your template according to your preferences:

  • Start by making simple changes, such as adjusting font types, colors, and cell sizes according to what you prefer or how your brand looks.
  • Replace any temporary data with your own information, ensuring that the formatting remains intact.
  • If necessary, add formulas to the sheet that build on what is already there.
  • Look into automating some tasks possibly or even incorporating more advanced features if you are using macro-enabled templates, i.e., xltm.
  • Test your customizations to ensure that the template works as intended.
  • You should regularly save your customized template of the document to make sure your changes are preserved.

Download Excel Template

Download Template

Download Template

Import Template Into Excel

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Using the Financial Model Template 

Download the template above so you can try out the steps listed in this blog post.

Overview of the Financial Model Template

Our financial model template includes five essential sheets:

  • Assumptions: Input the key drivers and variables that form the foundation of your model.
  • Income Statement: View the company’s financial performance over time.
  • Balance Sheet: Assess the company’s financial position at a given point in time.
  • Cash Flow: Analyze the company’s cash inflows and outflows.
  • DCF Analysis: Determine the intrinsic value of the company based on future cash flows.

How to Use the Template

To effectively use the financial model template, start by inputting the necessary data in the Assumptions sheet. It might include items such as revenue growth rates, operating margins, working capital assumptions, and capital expenditures. The other sheets automatically update based on linked formulas once you’ve completed inputting the Assumptions sheet.

Afterward, you can perform various analyses using the template, such as sensitivity analysis, scenario modeling, and valuation multiples, among others. Based on the present value of future cash flows, DCF Analysis helps you determine the intrinsic value of a firm.

By relying on such a template, investment bankers will be able to make their financial modeling process more efficient, thereby saving time and ensuring consistency across projects.

Tips for Efficient Use of Templates in Excel

Check out the following tips to learn how to use Excel templates efficiently:

Organizing Your Templates

If you work with a lot of templates, it is important to come up with a system for organizing and managing them. For templates, create a distinct folder and include subfolders to classify them either by project or their main purpose.

Excel offers several built-in features that can manage your templates. For instance, pin the frequently used templates to the section ‘Featured’ found within the ‘New Workbook’ dialog box so you can quickly access them. Also, with the ‘Search’ function. you can immediately retrieve a specific template by making use of keywords or file names.

Sharing and Collaborating Using Templates

Templates can be used as a measure to ensure that there is standardization and regularity across the team or organization. It is very crucial to put some clear limitations on the utilization and alteration of the templates when communicating the templates to the members.

That said, we recommend that you set up a version control system or use a shared network drive to manage template updates and prevent conflicting changes. When configuring a template, you should inform your team about any found changes or updates to make sure no incongruity takes place and thus increase the transparency.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Below are some compatibility issues you need to watch out for and how to resolve them:

Compatibility Issues

  • If you are using templates from different versions of Excel, save templates in a compatible format—either .xls or .xlsm depending on your needs.
  • Ensure that macros in macro-enabled templates are compatible with your version of Excel and have been properly referenced and executed.
  • Couldn’t open a template? Try opening it in another version of Excel or else, consult the template creator.

Security Concerns

  • Only download templates from trusted sources to reduce risks associated with malware or viruses.
  • Be careful when enabling macros in templates since untrusted macros may have malicious content.
  • The Trust Center, which comes along with Excel, can be used to manage macro settings within workbooks made by its users, therefore protecting them.
  • Before opening, scan downloaded templates using up-to-date virus protection software.

Using Macabacus Libraries to Streamline Workflows

Macabacus libraries are collections of content and templates designed for frequent reuse, helping to standardize and streamline the preparation of materials for you or your organization. You can create up to three types of libraries with Macabacus: a personal library for individual users, a team library for group collaboration, and a company library accessible to all users within the organization.

Macabacus libraries are quite similar to PowerPoint’s native Slide Library. However, unlike PowerPoint’s library, Macabacus libraries do not require the Professional Plus version of Office or SharePoint. Additionally, Macabacus allows you to include a broader range of content beyond just slides in the library.

Some types of content that you can save in a Macabacus library include:

  • Text: Legal notices, executive biography (CV) text, or other text snippets
  • Charts: Pre-formatted charts that contain dummy data and are commonly used in documents, presentations, or workbooks, such as waterfall charts, Marimekko charts, etc.
  • Tables: Pre-formatted tables (cell ranges) that can be used to standardize the formatting, structure, and even content of new analyses in Excel
  • Slides: Slides commonly used in executive bios, team pages, tombstone (“creds”) pages, and other presentations
  • Shapes: Office shapes commonly used in workbooks, presentations, and documents, such as clip art, Harvey Balls, icons, etc.
  • Images: Images commonly used in workbooks, presentations, and documents, such as headshots and company logos

You can also find the following types of templates in a Macabacus library:

  • Document Templates: Fax cover pages and other Word document templates
  • Model Templates: Financial or other models that can be used as starting blocks when building new Excel models
  • Presentation Templates: Template (.potx) files that define formatting, layouts, etc., for your PowerPoint presentations


Excel templates are valuable assets for professionals looking to streamline their work, improve efficiency, and ensure consistency. By understanding the different template formats, knowing where to find reliable templates, and following best practices for importing and customizing them, you can unlock Excel’s full potential in your work.

As you continue to work with templates, don’t be afraid to experiment with advanced customization techniques to create templates that ideally suit your needs. Consider exploring powerful add-ins like Macabacus, which offers a suite of tools designed to enhance productivity and streamline workflows for finance and banking professionals.

By leveraging the power of Excel templates and Macabacus’s productivity-enhancing tools, you can take your efficiency to new heights and focus on what matters most: delivering high-quality work and driving business success.

Create Financial Models 10x Faster with Macabacus

Gain access to 100+ shortcuts, formula auditing visualizations, easy Excel-to-PowerPoint linking and productivity tools to help you accelerate financial modeling and presentations.

Start your Free Trial

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