Renaming Worksheets

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 2, 2017)

At the bottom of each worksheet in the Excel document window is a small tab that indicates the name of the worksheets in the workbook. Excel names these worksheets using a default name. These names (Sheet1, Sheet2, Sheet3, and so on) are not very descriptive; you might want to rename your worksheets to reflect what they contain. For instance, if your workbook contains your annual budget, each worksheet within the workbook might contain budgets for individual months.

There are three ways you can rename a worksheet, and the only difference between them is the way in which you start the renaming process. You can do any of the following:

  • Double-click on one of the existing worksheet names.
  • Right-click on an existing worksheet name, then choose Rename from the resulting Context menu.
  • Select the worksheet you want to rename (click on the worksheet tab) and then select the Sheet option from the Format menu. This displays a submenu from which you should select the Rename option.

Regardless of the method you choose to rename a worksheet, Excel highlights the name on the worksheet tab and allows you to type a new name. To enter a new name, just start typing. When you press Enter or click anywhere else on the screen, the worksheet tab is renamed. You can use names that are up to 31 characters long, composed of any characters desired. The names can even include spaces.

If you decide you don't want to rename a worksheet after all, you can press Esc at any time to undo your changes. This will not work, of course, after you have completed editing the tab and pressed Enter or clicked elsewhere on the screen. In those cases you need to use the Undo feature.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (1949) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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