Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 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: Colors and Fonts for Worksheet Tabs.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 5, 2018)
Excel is quite configurable in how information appears on your screen. At some time you may want to change the appearance of the worksheet tabs at the bottom of your workbook. Unfortunately, Excel allows very little customization of the way worksheet tabs are presented.
If you want to change the font used in a worksheet tab, you need to change the fonts used by Windows (not Excel) to displays information. You can right-click on your desktop, choose Properties, and then click on the Appearance tab. Changes you make on this tab will affect all programs running on your system, not just Excel.
If you want to change the color used to display a worksheet tab, you are completely out of luck if you are using Excel 97 or Excel 2000. If you are using Excel 2002 or Excel 2003 you can change the formatting for a tab by following these steps:
It is interesting that if you set the colors for worksheet tabs and then open the worksheet in Excel 2000, the tabs don't show in color—they show in gray. Excel 2000 won't get rid of the colors, however. They will still be there when you later open the workbook in a version of Excel that supports the colors.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2625) applies to Microsoft Excel 2002 and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Colors and Fonts for Worksheet Tabs.
Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!
When you make changes in a worksheet, Excel automatically recalculates everything that may be affected by that change. If ...Discover More
When you press Enter while adding information to a worksheet, Excel normally drops to the next cell down in the column. ...Discover More
Excel includes quite a few tools that are not normally accessible through the various toolbars. One such esoteric tool is ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.