Create or open a spreadsheet

When you create a new spreadsheet, you choose either a blank template to which you can add tables, charts, text, and other objects, or an Apple-designed template that has placeholder elements including text, tables, and images. These templates, which are designed for purposes like personal finance, business, and education, give you a great starting point, and you can modify them however you want.

You can also use Numbers to open and edit Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.

Create a new spreadsheet

  1. Choose File > New (from the File menu at the top of your computer screen).

  2. Double-click a template for your spreadsheet.

  3. Here are some ways to customize your spreadsheet:

    • Select a table cell, then type your own content.

    • Click object buttons in the toolbar to add other tables, text boxes, shapes, and images.

    • Drag tables and objects on the sheet to arrange them.

When you close your spreadsheet for the first time, you are asked to give it a name and location. If you have iCloud set up on your Mac, Numbers saves your spreadsheet to iCloud by default, but you can save it to your Mac instead. You can also move a spreadsheet from iCloud to your Mac and vice versa. To learn more about saving a spreadsheet, go to Save and rename a spreadsheet.

Open an existing spreadsheet

You can open and edit Numbers spreadsheets saved on your Mac or in iCloud.

Do any of the following:

  • Choose File > Open (from the File menu at the top of your computer screen).

    Open window showing spreadsheets in iCloud
  • Chose File > Open Recent to see the last ten spreadsheets you opened—either in iCloud or on your Mac.

  • Double-click a Numbers spreadsheet in the Finder.

    If a spreadsheet is dimmed and can’t be selected, it can’t be opened by Numbers.

If you can’t open an encrypted Excel spreadsheet, try changing the type of encryption or the encryption options used in Excel, then save it again before opening it in Numbers.

If you previously saved spreadsheets to iCloud but you don’t see them in the Open dialog, make sure you set up iCloud on your Mac.

Always create new spreadsheets from a specific template

You can set Numbers to open new spreadsheets from a template instead of from the template chooser.

  • Choose Numbers > Preferences (from the Numbers menu at the top of your computer screen). In the General pane, select “Use template,” then click Change Template to select a template.

For more information about using templates, see Add custom templates.

If you can’t open a Numbers spreadsheet, make sure that you have the latest version of Numbers from the Mac App Store.