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Editing the Same Cell in Multiple Sheets

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Editing the Same Cell in Multiple Sheets.

It is not unusual for all the worksheets in a particular workbook to be very much the same as each other. For instance, you might have a workbook that contains your annual budget data. Each worksheet in the workbook is devoted to a different month of the year. Each worksheet contains the same rows, the same columns, and the same formulas. The only thing that may be different is the heading on each worksheet—along with the raw data for each month, of course.

If your worksheets are very similar to each other, Excel provides a very easy way to modify the contents of a particular cell on each workbook, all at the same time. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Select the first workbook in the series that you want to edit.
  2. Hold down the Shift key as you click on the tab for the last worksheet in the series you want to edit. A range of worksheets should now be selected. Excel also adds the word [Group] to the title bar to indicate you have a group of worksheets selected.
  3. Make your changes to the worksheet shown on the screen. Your changes are automatically made on every other sheet in the range as well.
  4. When done, select a single worksheet by clicking on its tab. (Click on the tab of a worksheet other than the first in the range.)

Step 3 may sound a bit confusing, but it isn't really. If you have a range of worksheets selected, and you enter a formula in cell D4, then the same formula is entered in cell D4 on each of the selected worksheets. This is very powerful, and Excel won't notify you if you are going to overwrite an existing formula on one of the worksheets. That is why step 4—deselecting the worksheets—is so important. If you forget to do so, you can easily mess up all your worksheets without intending to do so.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2605) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Editing the Same Cell in Multiple Sheets.

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Comments for this tip:

Tom Bates    10 Aug 2016, 20:55
There are a couple of places where I think you meant worksheet, not workbook.

But thanks for the great tips!
Mary Jo    01 Aug 2016, 14:01
Will this work for formatting worksheets and not just changing data? Sometimes I come up with a better format and would like to go back and change all of the worksheets....not individually would help! THX
Thierry Hoornaert    31 Jul 2016, 07:40
Instead of all, you can also select some of the worksheets.
Click on one and then CTRL+Click on any of the other sheets you want to add to your selection.
Then make your changes. It will be applied to the selected sheets only.
After making your changes, make sure to click on a sheet tab that is not part of the selection to discontinue your selection. Because in that case clicking on another of the selected sheets' tab will only change the focus as these sheets will remain selected.
Ron MVP    30 Jul 2016, 22:53
Is that a typo in the first step?

Shouldn't it read:
1. Select the first WORKSHEET in ....

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