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

Building Your Own Web Page

Want to build a Web page using Word? Here's an overview of how it works.

Discover More

Quickly Entering Dates and Times

Excel provides keyboard shortcuts for a variety of purposes. This tip examines two such shortcuts, designed to allow entering ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of the Task Pane on Startup

Tired of the task pane appearing every time you start Word? Here's how to get rid of it.

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Viewing Same Cells on Different Worksheets

When switching from one worksheet to another, you might want to view the same portion of the new worksheet that you were ...

Discover More

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

Freezing Top Rows and Bottom Rows

Freezing the top rows in a worksheet so that they are always visible is easy to do. Freezing the bottom rows is not so easy. ...

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 four less than 4?

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.