Templates, Templates

In the past I have written about Office Online (you can get to Office Online using Help|Office Online in any current version of Excel).  One of the great things that Office Online provides is a wide variety of templates that can help users get going more quickly, solve specific problems, etc.  Here is a link to all the existing Excel templates.  There are all sorts of useful things … for example, here is a pre-built buy vs rent calculator, which you can see has been downloaded ~70,000 times.  For the rest of this post, I wanted to talk about new work in the area of templates that has been done for Office 2007. 

Templates “in the box”

In Excel 2007, we will be shipping 11 templates “in the box” (which simply means they get installed when you run Office setup).  These templates in have been designed to reflect the new functionality available in the product (tables, pivot tables, charts, styles, conditional formatting, page layout view, etc.) and are saved in the new file format.  The selection of these templates has been based on popular downloads from Office Online, and we have tried to provide a mix of personal and business templates.  We hope that these templates serve not only to help people get things done but as examples of what can be done with some of the new features in the product.

Among the Business templates, we have:

  • Balance Sheet – Current assets, liabilities and capital broken out into categories (cash, accounts receivables, inventory…).
    Sales Report – A table of source data: items sold with cost and customer, with further analysis of that data using Pivot Tables.
  • Portfolio Analysis – A table keeping track of an investment portfolio.
  • General Ledger – Keeps track of expenses in different categories to compare actual vs. budgeted expense.
  • Billing Statement – A form listing invoices for a customer and the total amount due.
  • Expense Report – A form used by employees to list costs incurred on behalf of the company.
  • Time Card – A form used by employees to enter their time in and out each day and calculate the hours worked for the wee

Among the Personal templates, we have:

  • Loan/Mortgage Amortization schedule – Calculates the monthly payments on a loan or mortgage, showing the principal and interest paid each month.
  • Personal Budget – Shows monthly and yearly allocation of personal spending.
  • To-Do List for Projects – Keeps track of items to be done for a project with due dates, status and notes.
  • Blood Pressure Tracker – Tracks blood pressure over a time period.

Templates on Office Online

In addition to the templates “in the box” for Excel 2007, we have a number of Excel 2007 templates that are available for free download on Office Online. We will have 20 online Excel templates available in the new file format when Office ships, and more will be added on an ongoing basis.  The list of the first 20 online templates is below:

  • Family monthly budget
  • Invoice that calculates total
  • Personal budget
  • Checkbook register
  • Employee shift schedule
  • Fitness chart (versions for women and men)
  • Employee timecard (daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly)
  • Payroll calculator
  • Daily log of calories and fat percentage
  • Organizational telephone  list
  • Weekly meal planner
  • Grocery list with space for brand
  • Graph paper
  • Weekly time sheet with breaks
  • 2005-2006 student attendance record
  • Biweekly time sheet
  • Event budget
  • Weekly class attendance record
  • Five-day event schedule

Community templates

Finally, I would like to mention a new feature – community templates – available through Office Online (currently in beta – here is  a link).  This feature anyone in the Office Online community to submit their own templates to be posted online for anyone in the world to view, download, and use.  Others in the community can comment and rate on your templates.

To submit a template online, navigate to the Template Submission page on Office Online.  After you sign in using your Office Live ID, choose your file, select a destination category, and enter a template description.  After the file is uploaded, you can see its progress from your profile page. Each file is checked for validity and to make sure it’s virus-free.  Within a day or two of submission, your template will appear on the site.  After it’s been downloaded enough, and some time has passed, your template will begin to show up in the default view of the site.  After you’ve successfully submitted a template that is shown in the default view, your next template will be published to the default view without a waiting period.  People who abuse the service will have their status reset and will have to go through the waiting period again.

That’s it for today.  Later this week will be a series of posts on compatibility.