Excel 2013 & 2016: Customizing Excel

Updated 2013.08.07


·         Learn how to customize a toolbar.

·         Learn how to create a template.


There are a number of things that you can do to customize Excel:

·         Create your own toolbar buttons.

·         Create your own commands (called macros).

·         Create your own templates.

Toolbar Buttons

Excel has a "Quick Access Toolbar" where you can put buttons for commands that you carry out frequently. You can easily add buttons to the toolbar. For example, assume that you frequently work with wide worksheets and want to print them in landscape orientation. You can create a button on the Quick Access Toolbar that makes the page orientation options always available to you. This is how you can add a button to the Quick Access Toolbar:

·         On the right side of the Quick Access toolbar, click on the down-arrow and then click on More commands.

·         In the Choose commands from dropdown box at the top, click on the down arrow and click on Page Layout tab.

·         Scroll through the list of commands until you find the Page Setup command. Click on it.

·         Then click on the Add button to move it over to the list on the right.

·         Click on the OK button


Note that you can also use this method to remove buttons from the Quick Access Toolbar if you never use them and want to clean up your toolbar.


Excel has programs that provide additional features to Excel. These are called Add-Ins. To install add-ins on your computer:

·         Click on the File tab.

·         Click on the Options button near the bottom of the menu.

·         Click on the Add-ins tab on the left side.

·         Click on the desired add-in.

·         Click on OK.

Changing the default folder for saving files

Excel allows you to change the default folder for saving files. To change the default folder for saving files:

·         Click on the File tab.

·         Click on the Options button at the bottom of the menu.

·         Click on the Save tab on the left side.

·         Click on the Default File Location text box.

·         Enter the folder you want Excel to use to save your workbooks.

·         Click on OK.


A template is a workbook that already has some modifications made to it. For example, assume that whenever you create a worksheet, you always do some of the same things. You always:

You can create what Excel calls a template: a worksheet that has some of its defaults set to your personal preferences. You can create as many templates as you want.

Creating a template

To create a template, start with a brand new workbook. Set the properties that you want the template to have. For example, let's say that you want a template with a default font of 10-point Verdana blue, blue gridlines, and that you always want your name in the right part of the header and the date in the bottom center of the worksheet. You would do the following:


Save the worksheet, using a Save As command.

·       Select a name for your template.

·       Click on the Save button.

Templates online

Microsoft has a number of free Excel templates available at their web site.