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Screenshots and Images
The printed version.
Open the template in Excel.
This labor invoice calculates amount from hours and hourly rate, just like its base template. It differs from the base template in that we added a gradient border to surround the entire printable form.
We've already published several samples on using form-level borders. For example, borders could be implemented using Excel's own cell border (sample: Standard Invoice Template with Double Border), or using shape object (you can find a downloadable sample at Simple Sample - Using Shape Object).
With this sample we look at yet another way to implemented border - by using the fill effect of Excel cells. We'll use c4070 Labor Invoice Template as the base format (also see Parts and Labor Invoice Template). C4070 is a printable labor invoice template that covers job descriptions, hours, rates and total amounts, as well as the general fields for invoices such as invoice#, invoice date and payment term. It calculates taxes, subtotal, discount and total using Excel formulas (also please visit invoice formats for general purpose).
In order to implement the borders using Excel cells' fill effects, we'll need to first add four rows and four columns to the existing printable form that surround the exiting form - add 2 rows on top of existing printable area, add 2 rows below the bottom of the existing printable form; add 2 columns to the left edge of the existing printable form; and add 2 columns to the right edge of the existing printable form. We'll use the outer rows and columns to mimic the borders, and use the inner rows and columns to adjust the space (or margin) between the borders and actual invoice content. The detailed procedure is demonstrated in c5085 Standard Invoice Template with Double Border. In this tutorial we'll not cover that details again, but start from how to create borders using fill effects of cells.
In Microsoft Excel, when you choose to fill solid color, gradient colors or a pattern to cell / cells, the operation is done towards each cell (or merged cell). So if you selected 10 adjacent but unmerged cells and execute the fill operation, Excel executes the fill operation 10 times, with each cell filled with exactly the same pattern.
Assuming the printable form has 10 rows and we choose to fill the left-border column with gradient colors, each of the 10 cells on the left-border column will be filled with a separate gradient effect. This isn't what we want because we want the whole left-border, from top to bottom, be filled with only one gradient effect.
To deal with this, we have to merge all the cells on the left-border column. In this sample, we merge cells from D2 to D51 for the left-border. To merge cells, first drag your mouse to select all the cells to merge, and then click the "Merge and Center". Do this merging process for the top border, ranging from E2 to O2; do this merging process for the right border, ranging from P2 to P51; do this merging process for the bottom border, ranging from E51 to P51.
Now the interesting part - fill the (merged) border cells with gradient colors. To do this, follow the steps below.
- Right-click one of the merged cell (for example, the left vertical border cells), choose "Format Cells".
- Go to the "Fill" tab, and then click "Fill Effects".
- On the "Gradient" tab, choose "Two colors". From the color drop down lists, choose two colors separately - usually one dark color and another bright color.
- From the "Shading Styles" section, for this example we choose "Horizontal" for the left vertical border.
- Click to choose one of the "Variants".
- Click OK to confirm the settings of the gradient colors.
Set the gradient fill effects for other 3 borders - the top horizontal border, the right vertical border and the bottom horizontal border. In this design, make sure all 4 border use the same dark color and the same bright color. This, combining the proper selection of shading variants, we get the result as shown in the screenshot images - the top-left corner and bottom-right corner appear dark the other two corners, the gradient change is smooth without interruption. You may like to play with other possible options too. With the powerful tools provided by Excel, you can easily make your invoices stand out from the usual.
Note that this type of invoice design is not ink-friendly, meaning they require more ink to be printed on papers. If you always have the need to print each invoice on paper, consider the Simple Invoice Template collection. However if you use only electronical invoices, for example send PDF or image invoices using Invoice Manager for Excel, this won't be a problem at all.
Format and Specification
|Name||Labor Invoice with Gradient Border|
|Category||Service Invoice Template|
|Release Date||Saturday, July 2, 2016|
|Format (XLS or XLSX)||.xlsx|
|Line Height (Points)||30.00|
|Papaer Size / Orientation||Portrait|
|Default Margins (Points)|
|System||Windows 7 and later, and Excel 2007 and later.|