Workbook and Worksheet Navigation Tools

In a large workbook, you might create many different worksheets. Why not? Individual worksheets make good sense. They allow you to organize your data on separate sheets. The workbook in Figure 4.14 is a good example for separate sheets; the first worksheet holds the total vacation days and total sick days for each employee, and each monthly worksheet tracks the time by days and hours.

You can add or delete as many worksheets to a workbook file as you want. By default, Excel names the sheets with a number. The name is displayed on the worksheet's tab. Most times, the names Sheet1, Sheet2, and so on aren't descriptive of the sheet's purpose; you can easily change the sheet names to be more descriptive.

Moving around a large workbook requires a few simple navigational skills. Clicking a worksheet's tab brings that worksheet to the front of the screen and makes it active. If your workbook contains many sheets, or if the sheet names are long, it's hard to see all the tabs.

Each workbook file is set up with worksheet scroll arrow buttons, located at the far end of the horizontal scrollbar. The arrow buttons always appear, no matter which worksheet you're working in. Use the arrow buttons to scroll through the individual sheet names. When the sheet name you want appears, click its tab to make the sheet active.


Scrolling through the worksheet tabs provides only a view of the names of other worksheets in the workbook. You must click a worksheet name to make it active and view its contents.

In the next exercise, you add worksheets to your Sales 1st Qtr workbook. You learn how to rename a worksheet. You also copy data from one worksheet to another, using a range name. Make sure the Sales 1st Qtr workbook file is open and visible on the screen before you begin.

To Do: Set Up Multiple Worksheets

  1. Double-click the first tab of the Sales 1st Qtr workbook that currently reads Sheet1. The name is highlighted.

  2. Type Summary and press Enter. The new name now appears on the worksheet tab.


    Although worksheet names can contain up to 256 characters, keep the names descriptive, short, and simple. Short names are easier to read as you scroll through the worksheets. Additionally, formulas that reference a cell in a worksheet are easier to construct and edit if the name is short.


    You can rename a worksheet from a shortcut menu. Right-click the tab you want to rename and choose Rename from the shortcut menu. Type the new name and press Enter.

  3. Add a new worksheet by clicking the worksheet tab that's before the position in which you want to insert the new sheet. In this case, click the tab that reads Sheet3.


    You can change the default number of worksheets in a new workbook from three to any number you want. Choose Tools, Options and click the General tab. In the Sheets In A New workbook box, enter the number of sheets you want added when you create a new workbook.

  4. Click the Insert menu and choose Worksheet. Excel inserts a new tab with a default name. Double-click the tab of the new worksheet and type Detail.


    You can color code your worksheet tab, making it easier to depict one sheet from another. To do so, select the sheet you want to color. Choose Format, Sheet, Tab Color. Click the color you want and click OK.

  5. The second worksheet is not needed in the current workbook. Right-click the tab that reads Sheet2 and choose Delete.

    Figure 4.15. Set up two worksheets.



    Delete worksheets with care. When you delete a worksheet, all the data it contains is erased forever.

  6. Click the Summary tab to make that worksheet active. When the Summary worksheet appears on the screen, click in the Name box and type Months. Excel selects the names of the months (cells B3 through D3).

  7. Click the Copy button on the Standard toolbar.

  8. Click the Details tab and click cell B3 in the Details worksheet.

  9. Click the Paste button on the Standard toolbar. The month labels now appear on both the Details worksheet and the Summary Sheet.

  10. Save the Sales 1st Qtr worksheet by clicking the Save button on the Standard toolbar.

  11. If you're planning to practice your file- and workbook-management skills, or you want to move into the next hour, leave Excel open. Otherwise, close Excel by opening the File menu and choosing Exit.


The Sales 1st Qtr worksheet is a work-in-progress. You continue working with it during the next hour.

    Part I: Excel Basics