How to Use Multiple Excel Worksheets

By Faithe Wempen

Each Microsoft Excel workbook contains three worksheets by default: Sheet1, Sheet2, and Sheet3. You may not even notice at first that the workbook contains three sheets, because you see only the spreadsheet that’s in front of you.

The extra sheets can come in handy, though, for alternative versions of the same spreadsheet or for storing different spreadsheets in the same data file. For example, you can have separate sheets for your holdings at each investment firm or separate sheets for the membership rosters of several different clubs.

To switch from one sheet to another, click the sheet’s tab at the bottom of the Excel window.

With a normal Excel window size and the default three tabs, with their default names, you should have no trouble seeing all three tabs at once. However, if you add a lot more sheets to the workbook, rename the tabs so that some of them have very long names, and/or resize your Excel window so that it’s fairly narrow, not all the tabs may be visible at once. When this happens, you can use the tab scroll arrows to the left of the tabs to scroll the tabs to the left and right.


To create a new sheet, click the Insert Worksheet button or press Shift+F11. The resulting blank sheet uses the default settings (formatting, column width, and so on).

To delete a sheet, right-click its tab and choose Delete from the right-click menu that appears. If that sheet has no data, it’s deleted immediately. If the sheet does contain data, you’re prompted to confirm the deletion.

Make sure you really want to delete a sheet because this is an action you cannot undo with the Undo (Ctrl+Z) command.

You don’t have to delete unused sheets in a workbook, but it also doesn’t hurt anything to do so. You can always add new sheets later if you decide you need more sheets. Just click the Insert Worksheet button.