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

Changing an AutoShape

Got an AutoShape you previously added to a document, buy you now want to change to a different shape? You can change ...

Discover More

Specifying an Index Page-Range Separator

When generating an index, Word normally uses a dash to indicate page ranges. You can change the character used for these ...

Discover More

Invalid Names when Opening Workbook

Don't you hate opening a workbook and seeing error messages? If you see a message that some "invalid names" were detected in ...

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)

Ordering Worksheets Based on a Cell Value

Need to sort your worksheets so that they appear in an order determined by the value of a cell on each worksheet? Using a ...

Discover More

Detecting Types of Sheets in VBA

When processing workbook information in a macro, you may need to step through each worksheet to make some sort of changes. It ...

Discover More

Hiding and Unhiding Worksheets

Worksheets are easily accessible in a workbook, but you may not want them to be so open. You can hide worksheets so they ...

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 for this tip:

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.

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.

Links and Sharing
Share