Deriving the Worksheet Name

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 2, 2013)


There may be instances when you are developing a worksheet and you need to reference the name that you have assigned to the worksheet. (This is the name that appears on the worksheet tab, at the bottom of the Excel window.) Unfortunately, Excel does not include any intrinsic functions to do this. You can create such a function, however, by starting with the use of the CELL worksheet function.

If you include the following in a cell, Excel returns the fully path of the workbook, along with the sheet name:


For instance, if you entered this into a cell in the Sheet3 worksheet of the MyBook workbook, the information returned by Excel might be something like C:\My Documents\[MyBook.xls]Sheet3 (depending, of course, on the drive and directory in which the workbook is saved).

To return just the worksheet name from this value, you could use the following in your cell:


This will work for any worksheet name up to 50 characters in length. (If you routinely use different lengths, simply change the value in the expression.)

If you would prefer to use a macro-oriented approach, you can create a full-featured macro that will do the job. The following macro, SheetStuff, will return any of three separate items:

Function SheetStuff(numWanted As Byte) As String
    Select Case numWanted
        Case 1
            SheetStuff = ActiveSheet.Name
        Case 2
            SheetStuff = ThisWorkbook.Name
        Case 3
            SheetStuff = ThisWorkbook.FullName
        Case Else
            SheetStuff = ActiveSheet.Name
    End Select
End Function

To use this macro function, simply put =SheetStuff(X) in a cell in your worksheet. You should replace X with either 1, 2, or 3, depending on the information you want. If you use 1, the name of the current worksheet is returned. If you use 2, then the name of the workbook is returned. Finally, 3 returns the name and full path of the workbook.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2019) 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. ...


Shortcut for Full-Screen Mode

Want to get rid of almost everything on the screen except your document? Here's how to easily maximize what you see.

Discover More

Setting Header/Footer Margins

Do you find that there is a lot of extra space around that data on your worksheet when it is printed? Changing the ...

Discover More

Adjusting Row Height for a Number of Worksheets

Adjusting the height of a row or range of rows is relatively easy in Excel. How do you adjust the height of those same ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Changing the Default Drive

Do you have a macro that need to read and write files? If so, then there is a good chance you need to specify the default ...

Discover More

Deleting a File in a Macro

Macros give you a great deal of control over creating, finding, renaming, and deleting files. This tip focuses on this ...

Discover More

Understanding the Select Case Structure

One of the powerful programming structures available in VBA is the Select Case structure. This tip explains how you can ...

Discover More

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

View most recent newsletter.


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 8?

2015-04-25 05:11:57

Tony Allaway

There is a 'flaw' with this function that means the formula can cause errors, with for instance closing and opening the book and renaming it. The way round this is to use


or any cell reference you like. The only problem is this will also return the sheet name, but you can pare it down to the filename with an additional formula.

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

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.