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: Referencing a Worksheet Name.

Referencing a Worksheet Name

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 19, 2013)

Jon wonders if there is a function equivalent to =ROW() or =COLUMN() for worksheets. He needs to reference (for example) the fourth sheet in a workbook, but he can't be sure of the worksheet's name.

There are a couple of ways to approach this problem, depending on what you need to do. If you are working with a worksheet that has already been saved, then the following formula will provide you with the worksheet name for Sheet4:

=MID(CELL("filename",Sheet4!A1),FIND("]",CELL(
"filename",Sheet4!A1))+1,LEN(CELL("filename",
Sheet4!A1)))

You should note that there are couple of assumptions in this formula. First (and most importantly) it assumes that you know the initial name of the worksheet. In this case, the initial name is Sheet4. After the formula is in place, subsequent changes to the worksheet name will be reflected automatically in the formula. The second assumption is that the workbook you are working in has been saved. If it hasn't, then the formula returns an error until the workbook is saved and recalculated.

A different approach is to use a user-defined function. In VBA's object model, all the worksheets in a workbook are contained within the Sheets collection. These are, in turn, indexed. Thus, you can pass an index value to the function and get back the name of the worksheet at the collection's index number.

Function TabName(snum As Long) As String
    If snum > 0 And snum <= Sheets.Count Then
        TabName = Sheets(snum).Name
    End If
End Function

For instance, if you wanted to know the name of the fourth worksheet in the collection, you could use the following in your worksheet:

=TabName(4)

The function will work just fine, even in a workbook that has not been saved. It also returns the proper worksheet name even if the worksheets are renamed or moved around.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7607) 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: Referencing a Worksheet Name.

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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