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: Alphabetizing Worksheet Tabs.

Alphabetizing Worksheet Tabs

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 11, 2017)

3

If you are working on a project that uses a lot of worksheets in a workbook, you may want to sort them by worksheet name. The following short macro will do the trick very nicely:

Sub SortSheets()
    Dim I As Integer, J As Integer

    For I = 1 To Sheets.Count - 1
        For J = I + 1 To Sheets.Count
            If UCase(Sheets(I).Name) > UCase(Sheets(J).Name) Then
                Sheets(J).Move Before:=Sheets(I)
            End If
        Next J
    Next I
End Sub

This macro works if you have a relatively low number of worksheets in your workbook. If, when you run the macro, you note that it takes a great deal of time to run, you may want to use a more efficient sorting algorithm in the macro. For instance, the following is a version that reads the names of all the worksheets into an array, sorts the array using the BubbleSort algorithm, and then does the actual arranging:

Sub SortSheets()
    Dim I As Integer
    Dim sMySheets() As String
    Dim iNumSheets As Integer

    iNumSheets = Sheets.Count
    Redim sMySheets(1 To iNumSheets)

    For I = 1 To iNumSheets
        sMySheets(I) = Sheets(I).Name
    Next I

    BubbleSort sMySheets

    For I = 1 To iNumSheets
        Sheets(sMySheets(I)).Move Before:=Sheets(I)
    Next I
End Sub
Sub BubbleSort(sToSort() As String)
    Dim Lower As Integer, Upper As Integer
    Dim I As Integer, J As Integer, K As Integer
    Dim Temp As String

    Lower = LBound(sToSort)
    Upper = UBound(sToSort)
    For I = Lower To Upper - 1
        K = I
        For J = I + 1 To Upper
            If sToSort(K) > sToSort(J) Then
                K = J
            End If
        Next J
        If I <> K Then
            Temp = sToSort(I)
            sToSort(I) = sToSort(K)
            sToSort(K) = Temp
        End If
    Next I
End Sub

Anyone who has programmed for some time knows that BubbleSort is a good general-purpose sorting routine, but there are faster ones available. For instance, if you have quite a few worksheets, and they start out very disorganized, you may find that the QuickSort algorithm is more beneficial. All you would need to do to change the above to use QuickSort is add the QuickSort algorithm as a subroutine (you can find the algorithm in any good Visual Basic programming book) and then call the procedure from within the main SortSheets macro. (This means changing the line where BubbleSort is now called.)

There is another difference between this second macro and the first. The first macro does not pay attention to the case of the text used to name your worksheets. Thus, My Worksheet would be viewed the same as MY WORKsheet. The second macro does pay attention to text case, and sorts accordingly. Of course, this is not a particularly big issue, since Excel doesn't pay attention to case in worksheet names, either.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (1959) 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: Alphabetizing Worksheet Tabs.

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

Shading a Cell Until Something is Entered

Conditional formatting provides the opportunity to get very creative with your formatting. One such creative urge can be ...

Discover More

Generating Unique, Sequential Names

Do you need to create a number of words or phrases where you only alter a few letters in each one? If the alterations follow ...

Discover More

Canceling a Command

Tired of waiting for a command to finish running? You can use the same shortcut to cancel a command that you use to dismiss ...

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)

Storing Sorting Criteria

Need to do the same sorting operation over and over again? Excel doesn't provide a way to save your sorting criteria, but ...

Discover More

Recognizing a Header Row when Sorting

When you sort data in a worksheet, there are a couple ways you can do it. Using the simple way can result in unsatisfactory ...

Discover More

Performing Complex Sorts

One way you can easily work with data in a worksheet is to sort it into whatever order you find most helpful. Excel allows ...

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 2 + 1?

2017-02-16 08:46:20

Terri Lapwing

Good morning, On an Excel spread sheet, you can group columns of data. They condense and are represented by a + sign; if you want to expand them, a line appears along with the - sign. Can you perform a similar task with worksheets inside of a workbook. I would like to condense a set of worksheets of a particular fiscal quarter.
Please help,
Terri


2016-06-08 11:00:58

Rati

Hi,

I found your tip extremely helpful. However, I'm trying to find a code that will sort my sheets based on a custom list. Is that possible?




2016-04-05 09:45:48

Sam

This worked just well for me; saved time too.
Thank you so very much.


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.