A Microsoft Office Excel workbook is a file that contains one or more worksheets that you can use to organize various kinds of related information. To create a new workbook, you can open a blank workbook. You can also base a new workbook on an existing workbook, the default workbook template, or any other template.

What do you want to do?

Open a new, blank workbook

  1. Click the File tab.

  2. Click New.

  3. Under Featured, click Blank workbook.

    Keyboard shortcut: To quickly create a new, blank workbook, you can also press CTRL + N.

Note: Beginning with Excel 2013, each new workbook contains one worksheet. (Each new workbook in earlier versions of Excel contained 3 worksheets.)

  • You can change the default number of worksheets that you want a new workbook to contain. Read more.
  • You can add and remove worksheets as needed.

Base a new workbook on an existing workbook

Beginning with Excel 2013, the New from Existing option that lets you base a new file on an existing one is no longer available when you click File > New.

Instead, you can open an existing workbook and save it with a different file name (File > Save As).

Alternatively, if the workbook you want to use is in the Recent Workbooks folder (File > Open > Recent Workbooks), you can right-click its file name, and pick Open a Copy. Excel creates a copy by adding a number to the file name. You can save the workbook with a different file name as needed.

Base a new workbook on a template

  1. Click the File tab.

  2. Click New.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To use one of the sample templates that come with Excel, under Featured, browse the available templates then click the template that you want.

    • Search available templates by clicking of one of the suggested search terms or enter your own search words.

    • To use your own template by clicking on the Personal tab in the New dialog box, click a template that you previously created.

      Note: The Personal  tab lists the templates that you have created. If you do not see the template that you want to use, make sure that it is located in the correct folder. Custom templates are typically stored in the Templates folder, which is usually:

      • C:\Users\user_name\MyDocuments\Custom Office Templates in Windows 7,
      • C:\Users\user_name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Templates in Windows Vista, and
      • C:\Documents and Settings\user_name\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates in Microsoft Windows XP.

Note: To obtain more workbook templates, you can download them from Microsoft Office.com. In Available Templates, under Office.com Templates, click a specific template category, and then double-click the template that you want to download.

Save a workbook

  1. Choose File > Save As.

  2. In the Save As dialog box, in the Save as type list, select Excel Workbook.

  3. In the File name box, type a name for your workbook.

  4. Choose Save to finish.