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The frustration of setting style of default blank Excel workbook

I’ve just spent ages trying to sort out how the blank workbook launches. These notes refer to Excel in Office 16 and 365.

What tripped me up is that you can control the blank workbook displayed when you open Excel but you can only change the font settings for the Blank workbook you use when you choose File then New and Blank workbook.

The following instructions are to make changes to a single computer. The IT department should be able to apply these company-wide, probably using logon scripts/group policy.

You need to create an Excel file as you want it to look changing font size and colour, colour palette, cell styles etc. You then save it as ‘book.xltx’ in other words with the filename ‘book’ and as a .xltx, template file.

The book.xltx file then needs to be saved into the XLSTART folder which will probably be:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\XLSTART

You also need to check that in File then Options ‘Show the Start screen when this application starts’ is NOT checked as in the image below.

This will mean that the workbook opens with your settings – Arial 10 pt and your colour palette.

You can also use Ctrl + N to open your preferred workbook template. However, you should note that when you choose File, New and Blank workbook it will NOT use the template.

Blank workbook from ‘New’

When Excel is installed it defaults to Calibri 11pt and uses the generic Office colour palette (at least on all our office computers). You can only change the default font used by the Blank workbook.

To change the default font go to File then Options

And then choose and modify font and font size as you want. It is not possible to change the colour palette used.