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: Getting the Name of the Worksheet Into a Cell.

Getting the Name of the Worksheet Into a Cell

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 3, 2015)

Kevin has a workbook containing 36 worksheets. He needs a way, in each of the worksheets, to have the worksheet name (from the worksheet's tab) in a cell of that worksheet. He has created a user-defined function that returns the worksheet name, but it returns the same name on all 36 worksheets—the name of whatever worksheet is displayed when the user-defined function is executed. He wonders if there is a macro, in user-defined function (UDF) form, that he can use that will always return the name of the sheet on which the function is used. In other words, in his 36-worksheet workbook, it should return 36 different results, depending on the worksheet in which it is used.

The short answer is yes, there is a way. In fact there are a couple of ways. And, interestingly enough, you don't have to use a macro or function if you don't want to. For instance, here is a regular worksheet formula that will work in any cell on the worksheet:

=MID(CELL("filename",A1),FIND("]",CELL("filename",A1))+1,255)

The instance of the CELL function in this formula returns the full name of the worksheet, including the filename and file path. The use of the FIND function results in the stripping out of everything except the worksheet name.

Note the use of a cell reference (A1) in each instance of the CELL function. This forces the CELL function to return the name of the worksheet that contains the cell reference; without it, you will get the same result (the first worksheet) for each instance of the formula.

You should also know that the formula will not return valid results if you use it in a new workbook—one that hasn't been saved. You need to save the workbook so it actually has a name that can be returned by the CELL function successfully. It also will not work properly if the workbook or worksheet name contains a right bracket character ("]"). In that case, you'll want to use one of the other solutions discussed in this tip.

If you prefer to use a user-defined function, you can try something simple, like this function:

Function TabName1() As String
    Application.Volatile
    TabName1 = ActiveSheet.Name
End Function

This function won't provide the desired outcome, however, because it always returns the name of the active worksheet. That means that if you have the function called on each of the sheets in your workbook, it will always return the name of the active sheet on each of those worksheets, instead of the name of the sheet on which the function is used. The following function provides better results:

Function TabName2() As String
    Application.Volatile
    TabName2 = Application.Caller.Parent.Name
End Function

If you think you'll want to use the function to refer to a worksheet name elsewhere in the workbook, then this function will work better for you:

Function TabName3(cell As Range)
    TabName3 = cell.Worksheet.Name
End Function

This version of the function requires that you provide a cell reference—any cell reference—to a cell on the worksheet whose name you want to use.

Of course, if you would rather not use a user-defined function, you could simply create a macro that would stuff the name of each worksheet tab into the same cell in each worksheet. For instance, the following macro steps through each of the worksheets in the workbook and places the name of each worksheet into cell A1.

Sub TabName4()
    For J = 1 To ActiveWorkbook.Sheets.Count
        Sheets(J).Cells(1, 1).Value = Sheets(J).Name
    Next
End Sub

You should note that this approach is not dynamic (it needs to be rerun each time you change worksheet names or add new worksheets). It also overwrites anything that is in cell A1. (If you want the worksheet names placed in a different cell on each worksheet, change the values used in the Cells collection.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3793) 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: Getting the Name of the Worksheet Into a Cell.

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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