How to Create a Google Sheets Template

Make a custom template to create a starting point for new spreadsheets

What to Know

  • Make a spreadsheet with the data and formatting for a template. In a new folder, click New > Google Sheets to make an empty Sheet.
  • In the source spreadsheet, highlight and copy the content you want to use in the template. Paste it into the empty spreadsheet.
  • Name and save the template. When you want to use this custom template, make a copy so you don't change the original template file.

This article explains how to create your own template in Google Sheets when one of the Google Sheets pre-supplied templates won't work. You'll need a Google account to access Google Sheets. Sign in to Google Sheets with the same account you use to access Gmail or YouTube.

What You Need for a Custom Google Sheets Template

A Google Sheets custom template contains information specific to the spreadsheet you want to make. To make a custom template, start with a spreadsheet file that contains the information and formatting you want to use in the template.

Google Sheets monthly budget template

Create the spreadsheet file in any spreadsheet program, such as LibreOffice or Microsoft Excel. You can even make the spreadsheet in Google Sheets, either from scratch or from the Template Gallery. Just open one of those templates and edit it as needed to fit your project.

Make a Folder for Custom Templates

To keep your custom templates organized, create a folder that will contain only template files.

  1. Open Google Drive and go to the root folder (the top folder and not a subfolder).

  2. Select New > Folder.

    New Folder menu item in Google Drive
  3. In the New folder dialog box, enter a descriptive name for the folder, then select Create.

    Create button to name new folder in Google Drive
  4. The new folder appears in the list with the other folders in Google Drive.

Add Your Template to the Folder

To add your custom template to the newly created folder:

  1. Open the templates folder you created.

  2. Select New > Google Sheets to make an empty spreadsheet that will be used as the template file.

    New Google Sheet menu item in Google Drive

    If you select From a template, the Google Sheets Template Gallery displays. You cannot upload templates or create a blank template from the Template Gallery.

  3. Open the spreadsheet that contains the data you want to use in the template and highlight its contents. To select everything in the spreadsheet, press either the Ctrl+A or Command+A keyboard shortcut.

  4. Select Edit > Copy to copy the highlighted content. Or, press Ctrl+C or Command+C.

    Copy menu command in Google Drive
  5. Open the empty spreadsheet you made in Step 2 and select Edit > Paste to paste the spreadsheet contents. Or, press Ctrl+V or Command+V.

    Paste menu command in Google Drive

    Select the cell at which you want the paste to take place. For example, if you copied everything in the spreadsheet, select the square to the left of A and above 1 to highlight the entire sheet, then paste the spreadsheet contents.

  6. Enter a descriptive name for the template.

    Spreadsheet named "My Annual Budget"
  7. Select the Google Sheets icon to return to Google Sheets.

Use Your Custom Templates

When you want to use this custom template to create a new spreadsheet, make a copy of the template file before you make any changes to the original template file. If you edit the original template, you won't have that unaltered template available for use in the future.

To make a copy of a template, right-click or tap-and-hold the template file, then choose Make a copy.

Make a copy menu command in Google Sheets

Then, rename the copy and move the copy to another folder so that you don't accidentally edit the template.

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