Want to quickly change the look of your Excel workbook? Switching themes can help! You can change fonts, colors, and the overall style with just a few clicks.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Go to the Page Layout tab.
  • Click on Themes.
  • Choose the theme you like.

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Defining a Custom Theme

Creating a custom theme in Excel helps your charts look consistent and professional. Here’s a simple guide to defining your own theme:

Why Customize a Theme?

A theme combines colors, fonts, and effects. Customizing a theme is especially useful for charts, ensuring they use a uniform color palette for lines and bars.

Steps to Create a Custom Theme

Set Custom Colors:

  • Go to the Page Layout tab.
  • Click on Colors in the Themes section.
  • Select Customize Colors.
  • Change the colors in the popup window to match your preferred palette.
  • Rename the theme and click Save.

Set Custom Fonts and Effects:

  • Go to the Page Layout tab.
  • Click on Fonts or Effects in the Themes section.
  • Customize and save your preferences.

Save Your Custom Theme:

  • Go to the Page Layout tab.
  • Click on Themes.
  • Select Save Current Theme.
  • Rename the theme file. Ensure “Office Theme” is selected as the file type.
  • Click Save.

Your new custom theme will be available under Page Layout > Colors. For example, if you name it “LG Default 1”, you’ll find it there.

Steps to Set Your Default Theme

Open a New Workbook:

  • Start Excel and open a new blank workbook.

Apply Your Custom Theme:

  • Go to the Page Layout tab.
  • Click on Themes.
  • Select your custom theme. Ensure the workbook remains blank.

Save as Excel Template:

  • Go to File and click on Save As.
  • Name the file “Book” (remove any numbers like “Book 1”).
  • In the Save as type dropdown, select Excel Template.
  • Save the file in the XLSTART folder. If you can’t find this folder, save it to the Desktop and move it manually using File Explorer.

Finish Up:

  • Click Save.
  • Close Excel.

Your custom theme is now set as the default theme for all new Excel workbooks.

Steps to Find the XLSTART Folder

Search for XLSTART:

  • Open File Explorer.
  • Type “XLSTART” in the search box.

Move Your Template:

  • Once you find the XLSTART folder, go to the Desktop.
  • Right-click on your saved template and select Cut (or press CTRL + X).
  • Navigate to the XLSTART folder.
  • Right-click inside the folder and select Paste (or press CTRL + V).

Testing Your Default Template

Create a New Workbook:

  • Open Excel and create a new workbook.

Check the Theme:

  • Go to Page Layout > Themes.
  • Your custom theme should be displayed as the current theme.

By following these steps, you can ensure your custom theme is set as the default in Excel.

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Leila Gharani

I'm a 6x Microsoft MVP with over 15 years of experience implementing and professionals on Management Information Systems of different sizes and nature.

My background is Masters in Economics, Economist, Consultant, Oracle HFM Accounting Systems Expert, SAP BW Project Manager. My passion is teaching, experimenting and sharing. I am also addicted to learning and enjoy taking online courses on a variety of topics.