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Workaround for Multiple Rows of Worksheet Tabs

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: Workaround for Multiple Rows of Worksheet Tabs.

At the bottom of Excel's program window you can see tabs that represent the various worksheets in your workbook. (If you don't see the tabs, you need to choose Tools | Options | View tab and make sure the Sheet Tabs check box is selected.) You may wonder if there is a way to have multiple rows of the sheet tabs displayed, for those workbooks that have many worksheets in them.

There is no way to change the number of worksheet tabs displayed. There are a couple of workarounds you can try, however.

  • Use shorter worksheet names. Shorter names allows more tabs to be automatically displayed horizontally.
  • Click the divider bar between the tab area and the horizontal scroll bar, dragging it to the right. The scroll bar gets narrower, and the space allotted to the tabs becomes wider.

If your tabs still won't all fit on the screen, right-click on the navigation controls just to the left of the tabs. You should see a list of sheet names you can select. If there are too many sheet names to display in that way (more than 15), select the More Sheets option, and Excel displays the Activate dialog box, from which you can select a sheet name.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3009) 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: Workaround for Multiple Rows of Worksheet Tabs.

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Comments for this tip:

Stuart    28 Oct 2016, 07:48
Dee, insert a commentto the cell with the link - hovering over it will display the comment you have added. Basically what you are after.
Mandora    21 May 2016, 19:06

Excel has no way of knowing the location of a hovering mouse, therefore, I believe there is no way to display a tooltip or message by hovering over a tab. The index can have descriptive text for each tab. It would be possible to have a message popup when a tab is selected but it would be far simpler to simply have the name of the sheet in the sheet header. If there is some organization to your naming system ie: alphabetization, there may be a way to create acceptably short text tab labels. Such a system works best where tabs may be added or deleted.
Dee    20 May 2016, 11:31
I have a spreadsheet with over 100 worksheet tabs. My front page is an index with links to each worksheet. In order to use my worksheet as a template for new projects I have used numbers for the tab description. I am wondering if there is a way to create a Screen Tip for the tab numbers? For example: If my tab is 0100 I would like to hover over that tab and have a screen tip appear that gives the name of the worksheet which is "REMOVE PIPE DRAIN". Is this possible? If so, how can I do it? Thanks so much for your help!
Mandora    06 Feb 2016, 21:54
I once had a workbook with nearly 100 tabs. I setup a directory sheet with a hyperlink to each sheet and a return hyperlink on each sheet to the directory sheet. Worked great.

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