Excel: Teach Excel Your Favorite Chart

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Problem: The previous trick doesn't help me. I have to create line charts, legend at the top, with a title, scale in thousands.

Strategy: Create one chart with all of the customizations that you would normally make. (See details throughout the following three dozen topics.) Save your favorite chart as a template. Set that template as the default chart.

To save the current chart as a template, right-click the chart. Choose Save as Template"¦.

Give the chart template a name describing the chart.

You still have to make this new template be the default chart that you get when you press Alt+F1. Click the Change Chart Type icon in the Design tab of the ribbon. Open the Templates folder on the left. In Excel 2013, right-click the desired template and choose Set as Default Chart. In Excel 2010, left-click any chart thumbnail and click the Set As Default Chart at the bottom of the Change Chart Type dialog.

Gotcha: If there are multiple templates in the folder, you have to hover over each template to see the template name. They are arranged alphabetically, so that might help.

Result: When you select data and press Alt+F1, you will get this chart instead of the clustered column chart.

Gotcha: the actual text of the chart title is not saved in the template. Microsoft says this is a privacy concern. Since templates can be shared, you might accidentally create a template with sensitive content and save that as a template.

Additional Details: You can share templates with others. When you click Manage Templates in the Change Chart Type dialog, you will see the Templates folder. Templates are stored with a .crtx extension. Save the template in the same folder on your co-workers computer.

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