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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.

Unfortunately, Excel provides no intrinsic way to change the number of rows of worksheet tabs displayed; it appears that the limit of a single row is hard-coded into the program. 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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