Working with Multiple Worksheets

Use multiple worksheets in Excel when working with a large amount of data so it is better organized and easier to find content.

Introduction

Every workbook contains at least one worksheet by default. When working with a large amount of data, you can create multiple worksheets to help organize your workbook and make it easier to find content. You can also group worksheets to quickly add information to multiple worksheets at the same time.

Optional: Download our practice workbook.

Watch the video below to learn more about using multiple worksheets.

To insert a new worksheet:

  1. Locate and select the New sheet button near the bottom-right corner of the Excel window.
    adding a new worksheet
  2. A new blank worksheet will appear.

    the new, blank worksheet added to the workbook

By default, any new workbook you create in Excel will contain one worksheet, called Sheet1. To change the default number of worksheets, navigate to Backstage view, click Options, then choose the desired number of worksheets to include in each new workbook.

To copy a worksheet:

If you need to duplicate the content of one worksheet to another, Excel allows you to copy an existing worksheet.

  1. Right-click the worksheet you want to copy, then select Move or Copy from the worksheet menu.
    selecting the Move or Copy command
  2. The Move or Copy dialog box will appear. Choose where the sheet will appear in the Before sheet: field. In our example, we'll choose (move to end) to place the worksheet to the right of the existing worksheet.
  3. Check the box next to Create a copy, then click OK.
    choosing the copy worksheet options in the dialog box
  4. The worksheet will be copied. It will have the same title as the original worksheet, as well as a version number. In our example, we copied the November worksheet, so our new worksheet is named November (2). All content from the November worksheet has also been copied to the new worksheet.
    the duplicated worksheet

You can also copy a worksheet to an entirely different workbook. You can select any workbook that is currently open from the To book: drop-down menu.

To rename a worksheet:

  1. Right-click the worksheet you want to rename, then select Rename from the worksheet menu.
    selecting the Rename worksheet option
  2. Type the desired name for the worksheet.
  3. Click anywhere outside the worksheet tab, or press Enter on your keyboard. The worksheet will be renamed.
    the renamed worksheet

To move a worksheet:

  1. Click and drag the worksheet you want to move until a small black arrow appears above the desired location.
    moving a worksheet
  2. Release the mouse. The worksheet will be moved.
    the moved worksheet

To change the worksheet tab color:

  1. Right-click the desired worksheet tab, and hover the mouse over Tab Color. The Color menu will appear.
  2. Select the desired color.
    choosing a worksheet color
  3. The worksheet tab color will be changed.
    the applied worksheet color

The worksheet tab color is considerably less noticeable when the worksheet is selected. Select another worksheet to see how the color will appear when the worksheet is not selected.

the worksheet color more obvious when unselected

To delete a worksheet:

  1. Right-click the worksheet you want to delete, then select Delete from the worksheet menu.
    deleting an empty worksheet
  2. The worksheet will be deleted from your workbook.
    the workbook after deleting the empty worksheet

If you want to prevent specific worksheets from being edited or deleted, you can protect them by right-clicking the desired worksheet and selecting Protect Sheet from the worksheet menu.

Grouping and ungrouping worksheets

You can work with each worksheet individually, or you can work with multiple worksheets at the same time. Worksheets can be combined together into a group. Any changes made to one worksheet in a group will be made to every worksheet in the group.

To group worksheets:

  1. Select the first worksheet you want to include in the worksheet group.
    selecting the first worksheet in a group
  2. Press and hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard. Select the next worksheet you want in the group.
    adding a worksheet to a group
  3. Continue to select worksheets until all of the worksheets you want to group are selected, then release the Ctrl key. The worksheets are now grouped.
    the grouped worksheets

While worksheets are grouped, you can navigate to any worksheet within the group. Any changes made to one worksheet will appear on every worksheet in the group. However, if you select a worksheet that is not in the group, all of your worksheets will become ungrouped.

To ungroup worksheets:

  1. Right-click a worksheet in the group, then select Ungroup Sheets from the worksheet menu.
    ungrouping worksheets
  2. The worksheets will be ungrouped. Alternatively, you can simply click any worksheet not included in the group to ungroup all worksheets.
    the ungrouped worksheets

Challenge!

  1. Open our practice workbook.
  2. Insert a new worksheet, and rename it Q1 Summary.
  3. Move the Expenses Summary worksheet to the far right, then move the Q1 Summary worksheet so that it is between March and April.
  4. Create a copy of the Expenses Summary worksheet by right-clicking the tab. Do not just copy and paste the content of the worksheet into a new worksheet.
  5. Change the color of the January tab to blue and the color of the February tab to red.
  6. Group the worksheets September, October, and November.
  7. When you're finished, your workbook should look something like this:

    Multiple Worksheets