Excel Tip: Save Customized Excel Chart Styles

If you create charts in Excel, chances are good that you adjust the formatting of the standard chart style each time you create a new chart. You may change the size of the font, perhaps you add some background color, you might include your company logo on the chart, you may prefer the currency format for your numbers, or you may prefer a line graph to the default column style.

If the changes you make represent a style that you wish to use frequently, you can save the chart style so that those style features will always be available when you create a new chart.

To save a chart style in Excel, follow these steps:

  1. First, create a chart that contains all the style features you wish to save in your customized style.
  2. Right-click on the background of the chart window. A pop-up menu will appear. Choose Chart Type from the pop-up menu (alternatively, select Chart Type from the Chart menu at the top of the screen).
  3. Click the Custom Types tab at the top of the Chart Type window.
  4. Choose the "User-defined" option.
  5. Click the Add button. The "Add Custom Chart Type" window will appear.
  6. Enter a name for your customized chart, and you can also enter an optional description.
  7. Click OK to save your chart. The chart you created will now be available on the User-defined chart list. From now on, whenever you create a chart, you can go back to this list and select that chart style.

To make your new chart style the default style, so that all of your newly created charts will contain the features of this style, click the "Set as default chart" option at the bottom of the Chart Type window.

If you ever want to make changes to the customized chart style that you created, follow all the steps listed above, giving the newly created chart the exact same name as the previous chart. When you click OK to save your chart in the last step, you will be asked if you want to replace the previously-saved chart with the new chart, and you can click OK to make the replacement.

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