How to Build an Excel Inventory List

By Shawn McClain

The layout of a Microsoft Excel 2010 spreadsheet makes it a solid choice if you are looking for a simple program for tracking your inventory. While you can always create your own inventory list by simply creating a bunch of columns, Excel gives you the ability to use a premade list that someone shared with the Excel community. The premade documents, called templates, are available to browse and download from within the Excel program. Once you find a template that suits your needs, you can then choose to modify it for your specific situation.

Step 1

Launch the Microsoft Excel 2010 program, which will open up on a blank spreadsheet. Click the "File" tab on the left end of the ribbon that runs across the top of the window.

Step 2

Click "New" from the list on the left side of the screen, then select "Inventories" from the list of templates under the "Office.com Templates" heading.

Step 3

Double-click on your desired template to load it. It is a little difficult to make all the column headings on the template page, so just double-click a form that looks good and view it in Excel. If you don't like the template, click the small grey "x" at the top-right corner of your Excel window, just under the larger red "x" that will close the entire window. Clicking this small "x" will close the template, and you can click the "File" tab and choose another template. Continue until you find a template that comes close to your needs.

Step 4

Right-click on the letter above any column that you find unnecessary, as it is unlikely that you will find a template that fits your needs exactly. Choose "Delete" from the pop-up menu to remove the column.

Step 5

Right-click on the column letter located to the right of any location where you want to add a new column of information. Choose "Insert" from the pop-up menu and a column will appear. This new column should automatically include the visual format of the surrounding cells. Click on the top cell in the column, or on whatever row the surrounding columns have their titles in, and enter a title for your new column. Continue until you have the spreadsheet set to your needs.

Step 6

Add inventory formulas to the top empty cell in any column, if necessary. For example, if you want your "Reorder" column to display "Yes" when an item's quantity reaches below five units, enter the following formula into the cell, without quotes: "=IF(F3<5,"Yes","No")". Just change "F3" to whatever cell has the quantity information on your particular inventory spreadsheet. Once you have entered the formula, move your mouse over the bottom-right corner of the cell with the formula in it. Click and hold the mouse button, then drag the mouse down the page to quickly copy the formula down the entire column. Continue adding formulas until your sheet is complete and ready for use.