Excel files are called workbooks. Whenever you start a new project in Excel, you'll need to create a new workbook. There are several ways to start working with a workbook in Excel 2013. You can choose to create a new workbook—either with a blank workbook or a predesigned template—or open an existing workbook.
In addition to creating new workbooks, you'll often need to open a workbook that was previously saved. To learn more about saving workbooks, visit our lesson on Saving and Sharing Workbooks.
If you've opened the desired workbook recently, you can browse your Recent Workbooks rather than search for the file.
If you frequently work with the same workbook, you can pin it to Backstage view for faster access.
You can also pin folders to Backstage view for faster access. From Backstage view, click Open, then locate the folder you want to pin and click the pushpin icon.
A template is a predesigned spreadsheet you can use to create a new workbook quickly. Templates often include custom formatting and predefined formulas, so they can save you a lot of time and effort when starting a new project.
You can also browse templates by category or use the search bar to find something more specific.
It's important to note that not all templates are created by Microsoft. Many are created by third-party providers and even individual users, so some templates may work better than others.
Sometimes you may need to work with workbooks that were created in earlier versions of Microsoft Excel, such as Excel 2003 or Excel 2000. When you open these types of workbooks, they will appear in Compatibility mode.
Compatibility mode disables certain features, so you'll only be able to access commands found in the program that was used to create the workbook. For example, if you open a workbook created in Excel 2003, you can only use tabs and commands found in Excel 2003.
In the image below, you can see that the workbook is in Compatibility mode. This will disable some Excel 2013 features, such as sparklines and slicers.
In order to exit Compatibility mode, you'll need to convert the workbook to the current version type. However, if you're collaborating with others who only have access to an earlier version of Excel, it's best to leave the workbook in Compatibility mode so the format will not change.
If you want access to all of the Excel 2013 features, you can convert the workbook to the 2013 file format.
Note that converting a file may cause some changes to the original layout of the workbook.