Synchronized Workbook and Worksheet Names

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 2, 2013)

If you work with older workbooks, you may notice something weird happening with them. I opened an old workbook recently, and it contained only a single worksheet. In this workbook, the name of the worksheet is always the same as the name of the workbook. If the workbook name changes (perhaps I rename it in Windows), the worksheet name also automatically changes to the same name.

This behavior is not something that is native to newer versions of Excel, but is with older versions. In very old versions of Excel (versions 2.1 and 3), there was no such thing as worksheets; there were simply spreadsheet files. Excel 4 allowed you to have multiple worksheets, but if you only had one of them, then the worksheet name would always equal the name of the workbook, by default.

When you open an older spreadsheet file in a newer version of Excel that does support worksheets, Excel will show a single worksheet that has the same name as the file in which it is contained. If you exit Excel, change the name of the file, and then open the file again, you should notice that the name of the worksheet has changed as well.

To change this behavior, just use the Save As command to save the workbook using the file format that is appropriate for your version of Excel. If you then rename the workbook, the worksheet name should not change.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (1950) 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Including a Printer's Name in a Footer

If you can produce output on a number of different printers, you may want Word to indicate on your printouts which printer ...

Discover More

Copying the Quick Access Toolbar

Customization of Word is done, largely, through what you add to or remove from the Quick Access Toolbar. When you have the ...

Discover More

Automatically Entering a Data Entry Time

Excel worksheets can be used to keep track of all sorts of information. You may want to use it, for instance, to track ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Running a Macro when a Worksheet is Activated

Want to run a macro when you first select a worksheet? You can do so by using one of the event handlers built into Excel, as ...

Discover More

Condensing Multiple Worksheets Into One

Want a quick way to combine your worksheets? Excel provides a tool to make the task easier, but you could also bypass the ...

Discover More

Combining Worksheets from Many Workbooks

Do you need to pull a particular worksheet out of a group of workbooks and combine those worksheets into a different ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine minus 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.