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: Condensing Multiple Worksheets Into One.

Condensing Multiple Worksheets Into One

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 3, 2015)

If you get workbooks that have identically structured data on each worksheet, you may be interested in a way to combine the multiple worksheets into a single, large worksheet.

The concept behind doing the condensation is rather easy: You simply need to copy the data from the second and subsequent worksheets to the first empty row on the first worksheet. Fortunately, Excel includes a feature that allows you to do this very process—the Consolidate tool.

The Consolidate tool allows you to combine worksheets where data is defined by position or by category. By position means that the data is in the same position on every worksheet. For instance, if the data tables on each worksheet have the exact same columns, then you would consolidate by position. By category means that you want to combine data from tables in which the data may not use a consistent structure. You use this type of consolidation if the columns in the data tables are in different orders.

In the workbook whose worksheets you want to consolidate, choose Data | Consolidate. Excel displays the Consolidate dialog box. (See Figure 1.) There are many controls in the dialog box, but the primary thing you need to worry about is specifying the ranges to consolidate.

Figure 1. The Consolidate dialog box.

You specify ranges by using the Reference box. Specify in the box the first range you want to consolidate. If you are consolidating by position, then the reference should not contain any column labels; if by category, then you should. When you specify the range reference, you click Add, and the reference appears in the All References list. You continue to define reference ranges until they are all complete.

If you want the consolidated data to contain links to the original data, then make sure the Create Links to Source Data check box is selected, otherwise clear it. You can then click OK to do the consolidation.

Note that there are other controls in the Consolidate dialog box; the controls mentioned above are the ones you should pay attention to at a minimum. The best way to find out what the others do is to play around with them, doing a few consolidations.

If you prefer to not use the Consolidate tool, you can easily create a macro that will do the consolidation for you—provided the structure of each worksheet is identical. The following macro steps through all the worksheets and combines the data to a new worksheet it adds at the beginning of the workbook.

Sub Combine()
    Dim J As Integer

    On Error Resume Next
    Sheets(1).Select
    Worksheets.Add ' add a sheet in first place
    Sheets(1).Name = "Combined"

    ' copy headings
    Sheets(2).Activate
    Range("A1").EntireRow.Select
    Selection.Copy Destination:=Sheets(1).Range("A1")

    ' work through sheets
    For J = 2 To Sheets.Count ' from sheet 2 to last sheet
        Sheets(J).Activate ' make the sheet active
        Range("A1").Select
        Selection.CurrentRegion.Select ' select all cells in this sheets

        ' select all lines except title
        Selection.Offset(1, 0).Resize(Selection.Rows.Count - 1).Select

        ' copy cells selected in the new sheet on last line
        Selection.Copy Destination:=Sheets(1).Range("A65536").End(xlUp)(2)
    Next
End Sub

When the macro is done, the first sheet in the workbook, named Combined, has all the data from the other worksheets. The other worksheets remain unchanged.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3005) 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: Condensing Multiple Worksheets Into One.

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. ...

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