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Select a Worksheet   |  Insert a Worksheet   |  Rename a Worksheet   |  Move a Worksheet   |  Delete a Worksheet   |  Copy a Worksheet   |  SHEETS function

A worksheet is a collection of cells where you keep and manipulate the data. Each Excel workbook can contain multiple worksheets .

Select a Worksheet

When you open an Excel workbook, Excel automatically selects Sheet1 for you. The name of the worksheet appears on its sheet tab at the bottom of the document window.

Sheet1

Insert a Worksheet

You can insert as many worksheets as you want. To quickly insert a new sheet , click the plus sign at the bottom of the document window.

Insert a Worksheet

Rename a Worksheet

To give a worksheet a more specific name, execute the following steps.

1. Right click on the sheet tab of Sheet1.

2. Choose Rename.

Rename a Worksheet

3. For example, type Sales 2016.

Specific Name

Move a Worksheet

To move a worksheet, click on the sheet tab of the worksheet you want to move and drag it into the new position.

1. For example, click on the sheet tab of Sheet2 and drag it before Sales 2016.

Move a Worksheet

Delete a Worksheet

To delete a worksheet, right click on a sheet tab and choose Delete.

1. For example, delete Sheet2.

Delete a Worksheet

Copy a Worksheet

Imagine, you have got the sales for 2016 ready and want to create the exact same sheet for 2017, but with different data. You can recreate the worksheet, but this is time-consuming. It's a lot easier to copy the entire worksheet and only change the numbers.

1. Right click on the sheet tab of Sales 2016.

2. Choose Move or Copy.

Copy a Worksheet

The 'Move or Copy' dialog box appears.

3. Select (move to end) and check Create a copy.

Dialog Box

4. Click OK.

Copied Worksheet

Note: you can even copy a worksheet to another Excel workbook by selecting the specific workbook from the drop-down list (see the dialog box shown earlier).

SHEETS function

To count the total number of worksheets in a workbook, use the SHEETS function in Excel (without any argument).

1. For example, select cell A1.

2. Type =SHEETS() and press Enter.

SHEETS function in Excel

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How To Use Excel : A Beginner’s Guide To Getting Started

Written by co-founder Kasper Langmann , Microsoft Office Specialist.

Excel is a powerful application—but it can also be very intimidating.

That’s why we’ve put together this beginner’s guide to getting started with Excel .

It will take you from the very beginning (opening a spreadsheet), through entering and working with data, and finish with saving and sharing.

It’s everything you need to know to get started with Excel.

If you want to tag along as you read, please download the free sample Excel workbook here.

Table of Contents

1: Opening a spreadsheet

2: Working with the Ribbon

3: Managing your worksheets

4: Entering data

5: Basic calculations

6: Unlocking the power of functions

7: Saving and sharing your work

8: Welcome to Excel

Opening an Excel spreadsheet

When you first open Excel (by double-clicking the icon or selecting it from the Start menu), the application will ask what you want to do.

If you want to open a new Excel spreadsheet, click Blank workbook .

To open an existing spreadsheet (like the example workbook you just downloaded), click  Open Other Workbooks in the lower-left corner, then click  Browse on the left side of the resulting window.

Then use the file explorer to find the Excel workbook you’re looking for, select it, and click Open .

Workbooks vs. spreadsheets

There’s something we should clear up before we move on.

A workbook is an Excel file. It usually has a file extension of .XLSX (if you’re using an older version of Excel, it could be .XLS).

A spreadsheet  is a single sheet inside a workbook. There can be many sheets inside of a workbook, and they’re accessed via the tabs at the bottom of the screen.

A spreadsheet (a.k.a. a sheet/tab) contains all the cells you can see and use in the >1 million rows >16,000 columns.

Working with the Ribbon

The Ribbon is the central control panel of Excel. You can do just about everything you need to directly from the Ribbon.

Where is this powerful tool? At the top of the window:

There are a number of tabs, including the File tab, Home tab , Insert tab , Data tab , Review tab , and a few others. Each tab contains different buttons.

Try clicking on a few different tabs to see which buttons appear below them.

There’s also a very useful search bar in the Ribbon. It says Tell me what you want to do . Just type in what you’re looking for, and Excel will help you find it.

Most of the time, you’ll be in the Home tab of the Ribbon. But Formulas and Data are also very useful (we’ll be talking about formulas shortly).

Pro tip: Ribbon sections

In addition to tabs, the Ribbon also has some smaller sections. And when you’re looking for something specific, those sections can help you find it .

For example, if you’re looking for sorting and filtering options, you don’t want to hover over dozens of buttons finding out what they do.

Instead, skim through the section names until you find what you’re looking for:

Managing your sheets

As we saw, workbooks can contain multiple sheets.

You can manage those sheets with the sheet tabs near the bottom of the screen. Click a tab to open that particular worksheet.

If you’re using our example workbook, you’ll see two sheets, called Welcome and Thank You :

To add a new worksheet , click the  + (plus) button at the end of the list of sheets.

You can also reorder the sheets in your workbook by dragging them to a new location.

And if you right-click a worksheet tab, you’ll get a number of options:

For now, don’t worry too much about these options.  Rename and  Delete are useful, but the rest needn’t concern you.

Entering data

Now it’s time to enter some data!

And while entering data is one of the most central and important things you can do in Excel, it’s almost effortless.

Just click into a blank cell and start typing.

Go ahead, try it! Type your name, birthday, and your favorite number into some blank cells.

You can also copy ( Ctrl + C ), cut ( Ctrl + X ), and paste ( Ctrl + V ) any data you’d like (or read our full guide on copying and pasting here ) .

Try copying and pasting the data from multiple cells inthe example spreadsheet into another column.

You can also copy data from other programs into Excel.

Try copying this list of numbers and pasting it into your sheet:

That’s all we’re going to cover for basic data entry. Just know that there are lots of other ways to get data into your spreadsheets if you need them.

Basic calculations

Now that we’ve seen how to get some basic data into our spreadsheet, we’re going to do some things with it.

Running basic calculations in Excel is easy. First, we’ll look at how to add two numbers.

Important: start calculations with = (equals)

When you’re running a calculation (or a formula, which we’ll discuss next), the first thing you need to type is an equals sign. This tells Excel to get ready to run some sort of calculation.

So when you see something like  = MEDIAN (A2:A51) , make sure you type it exactly as it is—including the equals sign.

Let’s add 3 and 4. Type the following formula in a blank cell:

Then hit  Enter .

When you hit Enter, Excel evaluates your equation and displays the result, 7.

But if you look above at the  formula bar , you’ll still see the original formula.

That’s a useful thing to keep in mind, in case you forget what you typed originally.

You can also edit a cell in the formula bar. Click on any cell, then click into the formula bar and start typing.

Performing subtraction, multiplication, and division is just as easy. Try these formulas:

What we’re going to cover next is one of the most important things in Excel. We’re giving it a very basic overview here, but feel free to read our post on cell references to get the details.

Now let’s try something different. Open up the first sheet in the example workbook, click into cell C1, and type the following:

Hit  Enter .

You should get 82, the sum of the numbers in cells A1 and B1.

Now, change one of the numbers in A1 or B1 and watch what happens:

Because you’re adding A1 and B1, Excel automatically updates the total when you change the values in one of those cells.

Try doing different types of arithmetic on the other numbers in columns A and B using this method.

Unlocking the power of functions

Excel’s greatest power lies in functions. These let you run complex calculations with a few keypresses.

We’ll barely scratch the surface of functions here. Check out our other blog posts to see some of the great things you can do with functions!

Many formulas take sets of numbers and give you information about them.

For example, the AVERAGE function gives you the average of a set of numbers. Let’s try using it.

Click into an empty cell and type the following formula:

=AVERAGE(A1:A4)

The resulting number, 0.25, is the average of the numbers in cells A1, A2, A3, and A4.

Cell range notation

In the formula above, we used “A1:A4” to tell Excel to look at all the cells between A1 and A4, including both of those cells. You can read it as “A1 through A4.”

You can also use this to include numbers in different columns. “A5:C7” includes A5, A6, A7, B5, B6, B7, C5, C6, and C7.

There are also functions that work on text.

Let’s try the CONCATENATE function !

Click into cell C5 and type this formula:

=CONCATENATE(A5, ” “, B5)

Then hit  Enter.

You’ll see the message “Welcome to Spreadsheeto” in the cell.

How did this happen? CONCATENATE takes cells with text in them and puts them together.

We put the contents of A5 and B5 together. But because we also needed a space between “to” and “Spreadsheeto,” we included a third argument: the space between two quotes.

Remember that you can mix cell references (like “A5″) and typed values (like ” “) in formulas.

Excel has dozens of useful functions. To find the function that will solve a particular problem, head to the  Formulas tab and click on one of the icons:

Scroll through the list of available functions, and select the one you want (you may have to look around for a while).

Then Excel will help you get the right numbers in the right places:

If you start typing a formula, starting with the equals sign, Excel will help you by showing you some possible functions that you might be looking for:

And finally, once you’ve typed the name of a formula and the opening parenthesis, Excel will tell you which arguments need to go where:

If you’ve never used a function before, it might be difficult to interpret Excel’s reminders. But once you get more experience, it’ll become clear.

This is a tiny preview of how functions work and what they can do. It should be enough to get you going on the tasks you need to accomplish right away.

Saving and sharing your work

After you’ve done a bunch of work with your spreadsheet, you’re going to want to save your changes.

Hit  Ctrl + S to save. If you haven’t yet saved your spreadsheet, you’ll be asked where you want to save it and what you want to call it.

You can also click the  Save button in the Quick Access Toolbar :

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of saving often. Trying to recover unsaved changes is a pain!

The easiest way to share your spreadsheets is via OneDrive.

Click the  Share button in the top-right corner of the window, and Excel will walk you through sharing your document.

You can also save your document and email it, or use any other cloud service to share it with others.

That’s it – Now what?

This was how to use Excel.

Or… at least a small fraction of it.

Microsoft Excel can be intimidating, but once you get the basics down, it’s easier to learn the more advanced functions.

This was your introduction to “the basics”. So, if you’re not ready to get some advanced Excel knowledge, go ahead and practice with some of the existing data at the office 🧑🏼‍💻

If you’re ready to take your next steps, go ahead and enroll in my 30-minute free online course where you learn: IF, SUMIF, VLOOKUP, and data cleaning.

These are some of the most important topics of Excel💪🏼

Other resources

Now, you can’t excel at Excel without mastering some of the lookup functions like VLOOKUP and the new XLOOKUP .

But also, you don’t wanna miss out on pivot tables . You can use these to transform your Microsoft Excel data into insightful reports in just a few clicks🤯

Or if you’re into automating Excel spreadsheet formatting, go ahead and read my guide to conditional formatting here.

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What Is A Worksheet In Excel (Explained With Examples)

Have you ever found yourself wondering what exactly a worksheet is and what it’s used for? If so, you’re in the right place!

A worksheet is a handy tool that helps you organize, store, and manipulate data in a tabular format. It’s a great way to analyze large amounts of information, track progress, and make informed decisions.

Whether you’re a student, a business owner, or just someone who needs to keep track of a lot of data, a worksheet can be a huge help. In this article, we’ll dive into the purpose of a worksheet and how it can boost your efficiency and productivity. So, if you want to get the most out of your data, keep reading!

What is a worksheet In Excel?

Example of a worksheet in Excel

When people deal with spreadsheets , they are often confused with the difference between a worksheet.

These two terms are pretty much the same thing, with only one minor difference: a worksheet is a single page within a spreadsheet document used to organize and manage data in Excel.

What Is The Purpose Of A Worksheet?

The purpose of a worksheet in Excel is to organize and manage data in a structured way. You can enter data, such as numbers or text, into cells in the worksheet, and use formulas to perform calculations on that data. You can also apply formatting to the data, such as font size or color, to make it easier to read and understand.

Worksheets are useful for a wide variety of tasks, such as budgeting , tracking expenses, creating lists, and analyzing data. They allow you to enter data in a structured way and perform calculations on that data using formulas. For example, you can use a worksheet to calculate the total cost of a group of items by adding up the price of each item in a column.

Excel allows you to create multiple worksheets within a single spreadsheet document, and you can switch between them as needed. You can also share worksheets with others, allowing multiple people to access and edit the same data at the same time. This makes worksheets a useful tool for collaboration and data management.

What Is The Difference Between an Excel workbook vs worksheet?

Excel workbook is essentially a file that contains one or more worksheets. Each worksheet is a single page within the workbook that is used to organize and manage data. It’s made up of rows and columns, and the intersection of a row and column is called a cell. You can enter data, like numbers or text, into a cell and also apply formatting to make it easier to read and understand.

Now, a workbook is basically a container for one or more worksheets. It allows you to organize your data in a flexible way by creating multiple worksheets within a single workbook and switching between them as needed. This is really helpful if you have a lot of data and want to keep it organized and easy to find.

For example, say you have a budgeting spreadsheet with data on your income, expenses, and savings. You could create a separate worksheet for each of these categories within a single workbook. This would keep all of your budgeting data in one place, but still have it organized and easy to find.

In addition to organizing your data, workbooks also allow you to share your data with others. You can save a workbook to a shared location, like a cloud storage service or a shared network drive, and then invite others to access and edit the workbook. This makes workbooks a really useful tool for collaboration.

So, to wrap things up, a worksheet in Excel is just a single page within a spreadsheet that helps you organize and manage your data.

It’s made up of rows and columns, and you can enter data into cells and apply formatting to make it easier to read and understand. Worksheets are super useful for all sorts of tasks, like budgeting, tracking expenses, creating lists, and analyzing data.

Plus, you can use formulas to perform calculations on your data and create multiple worksheets within a single spreadsheet. And if you need to collaborate with others, you can even share your worksheets with them. All in all, worksheets are a great tool for organizing and managing your data!

Frequently Asked Questions

In Microsoft Excel, a worksheet is a single page in a workbook (a collection of one or more worksheets) that contains data organized in a grid of rows and columns.

In Microsoft Excel, a worksheet is made up of a grid of rows and columns that form cells. Each cell can contain a number, text, or a formula. The intersection of a row and column is called a cell, and each cell has a unique address called a cell reference. The worksheet also includes worksheet tabs, a formula bar, row and column headings, sheet options, and data validation features.

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Worksheets and Workbooks in Excel

Learn about worksheets and spreadsheets in Excel and Google Sheets

A worksheet or sheet is a single page in a file created with an electronic spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets . A workbook is the name given to an Excel file and contains one or more worksheets. When you open an electronic spreadsheet program, it loads an empty workbook file consisting of one or more blank worksheets for you to use.

Instructions in this article apply to Excel for Microsoft 365, Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010; Excel for Mac, Excel Online, and Google Sheets.

Worksheet Details

You use worksheets to store, manipulate, and display  data .

The primary storage unit for data in a worksheet is a rectangular-shaped cell arranged in a grid pattern in every sheet. Individual cells of data are identified and organized using the vertical column letters and horizontal row numbers of a worksheet , which create a cell reference, such as A1, D15, or Z467.

Worksheet specifications for current versions of Excel include:

  • 1,048,576 rows per worksheet
  • 16,384 columns per worksheet
  • 17,179,869,184 cells per worksheet
  • A limited number of sheets per file based on the amount of memory available on the computer

For Google Sheets:

  • 256 columns per sheet
  • 400,000 cells for all worksheets in a file
  • 200 worksheets per spreadsheet file

Worksheet Names

In both Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets, each worksheet has a name. By default, the worksheets are named Sheet1, Sheet2, Sheet3, and so on, but you can change these names.

Workbook Details

  • Add worksheets to a workbook using the context menu or the New Sheet / Add Sheet icon ( + ) next to the current sheet tabs.
  • Delete or hide individual worksheets in a workbook.
  • Rename individual worksheets and  change worksheet tab colors to make it easier to identify single sheets in a workbook using the context menu.
  • Select the sheet tab at the bottom of the screen to change to another worksheet.

In Excel, use the following shortcut key combinations to switch between worksheets :

  • Ctrl + PgUp (page up): Move to the right
  • Ctrl + PgDn (page down): Move to the left

In Google Sheets, the shortcut key combinations to switch between worksheets are:

  • Ctrl + Shift + PgUp : Move to the right
  • Ctrl + Shift + PgDn : Move to the left

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How to Make a Spreadsheet in Excel

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Do you need to create a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel but have no idea where to begin? You've come to the right place! While Excel can be intimidating at first, creating a basic spreadsheet is as simple as entering data into numbered rows and lettered columns. Whether you need to make a spreadsheet for school, work, or just to keep track of your expenses, this wikiHow article will teach you everything you know about editing your first spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

Creating a Basic Spreadsheet

Step 1 Open Microsoft Excel.

  • If you don't have a paid version of Microsoft Office, you can use the free online version at https://www.office.com to create a basic spreadsheet. You'll just need to sign in with your Microsoft account and click Excel in the row of icons.

Step 2 Click Blank workbook to create a new workbook.

  • When you make more complex spreadsheets, you can add another sheet by clicking + next to the first sheet. Use the bottom tabs to switch between spreadsheets.

Step 3 Familiarize yourself with the spreadsheet's layout.

  • All rows are labeled with numbers along the side of the spreadsheet, while the columns are labeled with letters along the top.
  • Each cell has an address consisting of the column letter followed by the row number. For example, the address of the cell in the first column (A), first row (1) is A1. The address of the cell in column B row 3 is B3.

Step 4 Enter some data.

  • Notice that as you type into the cell, the content also appears in the bar that runs across the top of the spreadsheet. This bar is called the Formula Bar and is useful for when entering long strings of data and/or formulas. [3] X Trustworthy Source Microsoft Support Technical support and product information from Microsoft. Go to source
  • To edit a cell that already has data, double-click it to bring back the cursor. Alternatively, you can click the cell once and make your changes in the formula bar.
  • To delete the data from one cell, click the cell once, and then press Del . This returns the cell to a blank one without messing up the data in other rows or columns. To delete multiple cell values at once, press Ctrl (PC) or ⌘ Cmd (Mac) as you click each cell you want to delete, and then press Del .
  • To add a new blank column between existing columns, right-click the letter above the column after where you'd like the new one to appear, and then click Insert on the context menu.
  • To add a new blank row between existing rows, right-click the row number for the row after the desired location, and then click Insert on the menu.

Step 5 Check out the functions available for advanced uses.

  • Click the Formulas tab at the top of the screen. You'll notice several icons in the toolbar at the top of the application in the panel labeled "Function Library." Once you know how the different functions work, you can easily browse the library using those icons.
  • Click the Insert Function icon, which also displays an fx . It should be the first icon on the bar. This opens the Insert Function panel, which allows you to search for what you want to do or browse by category.
  • Select a category from the "Or select a category" menu. The default category is "Most Recently Used." For example, to see the math functions, you might select Math & Trig .
  • Click any function in the "Select a function" panel to view its syntax, as well as a description of what the function does. For more info on a function, click the Help on this function .
  • Click Cancel when you're done browsing.
  • To learn more about entering formulas, see How to Type Formulas in Microsoft Excel .

Step 6 Save your file when you're finished editing.

  • Now that you've gotten the hang of the basics, check out the "Creating a Home Inventory from Scratch" method to see this information put into practice.

Creating a Home Inventory from Scratch

Step 2 Name your columns...

  • Click cell A1 and type Item . We'll list each item in this column.
  • Click cell B1 and type Location . This is where we'll enter which room the item is in.
  • Click cell C1 and type Make/Model . We'll list the item's model and manufacturer in this column.

Step 3 Enter your items on each row.

  • For example, if you're listening the Apple HD monitor in your office, you may type HD monitor into A2 (in the Item column), Office into B2 (in the Location column), and Apple Cinema 30-inch M9179LL into B3 (the Make/Model column).
  • List additional items on the rows below. If you need to delete a cell, just click it once and press Del .
  • To remove an entire row or column, right-click the letter or number and select Delete .
  • You've probably noticed that if you type too much text in a cell it'll overlap into the next column. You can fix this by resizing the columns to fit the text. Position the cursor on the line between the column letters (above row 1) so the cursor turns into two arrows, and then double-click that line.

Step 4 Turn the column headers into drop-down menus.

  • Click the Data tab at the top of Excel.
  • Click Filter (the funnel icon) in the toolbar. Small arrows now appear on each column header.
  • Click the Location drop-down menu (in B1) to open the filter menu.
  • Since we just want to see items in the office, check the box next to "Office" and remove the other checkmarks.
  • Click OK . Now you'll only see items the selected room. You can do this with any column and any data type.
  • To restore all items, click the menu again and check "Select All" and then OK to restore all items.

Step 5 Click the Page Layout tab to customize the spreadsheet.

  • Select the cells you want to format. You can select an entire row by clicking its number, or an whole column by clicking its letter. Hold Ctrl (PC) or Cmd (Mac) to select more than one column or row at a time.
  • Click Colors in the "Themes" area of the toolbar to view and select color theme.
  • Click the Fonts menu to browse for and select a font.

Step 6 Save your document.

Creating a Monthly Budget from a Template

Step 1 Open Microsoft Excel.

  • This method covers using a built-in Excel template to create a list of your expenses. There are hundreds of templates available for different types of spreadsheets. To see a list of all official templates, visit https://templates.office.com/en-us/templates-for-excel .

Step 2 Search for the

  • You may have to click Download instead.

Step 4 Click the Monthly Income tab to enter your income(s).

  • Double-click the Income 1 cell to bring up the cursor. Erase the content of the cell and type wikiHow .
  • Double-click the Income 2 cell, erase the contents, and type Acme .
  • Enter your monthly income from wikiHow into the first cell under the "Amount" header (the one that says "2500" by default). Do the same with your monthly income from "Acme" in the cell just below.
  • If you don't have any other income, you can click the other cells (for "Other" and "$250") and press Del to clear them.
  • You can also add more income sources and amounts in the rows below those that already exist.

Step 5 Click the Monthly Expenses tab to enter your expenses.

  • For example, let's say your rent is $795/month. Double-click the pre-filled amount of "$800," erase it, and then type 795 .
  • Let’s say you don't have any student loan payments to make. You can just click the amount next to "Student Loans" in the "Amount" column ($50) and press Del on your keyboard to clear it. Do the same for all other expenses.
  • You can delete an entire row by right-clicking the row number and selecting Delete .
  • To insert a new row, right-click the row number below where you want it to appear, and then select Insert .
  • Make sure there are no extra amounts that you don't actually have to pay in the "Amounts" column, as they'll be automatically factored into your budget.

Step 6 Click the Summary tab to visualize your budget.

  • If the info doesn't calculate automatically, press F9 on the keyboard.
  • Any changes you make to the Monthly Income and Monthly Expenses tabs will affect what you see in your Summary.

Step 7 Save your document.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

You Might Also Like

Use Solver in Microsoft Excel

  • ↑ https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/create-a-new-workbook-ae99f19b-cecb-4aa0-92c8-7126d6212a83
  • ↑ https://openoregon.pressbooks.pub/beginningexcel/chapter/1-1-overview-of-microsoft-excel/
  • ↑ https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/office/overview-of-formulas-in-excel-ecfdc708-9162-49e8-b993-c311f47ca173
  • ↑ https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/office/save-your-workbook-92e4aae0-452d-497f-a470-570610ff720a
  • ↑ https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/using-flash-fill-in-excel-3f9bcf1e-db93-4890-94a0-1578341f73f7
  • ↑ https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/office/turn-excel-table-headers-on-or-off-c91d1742-312c-4480-820f-cf4b534c8b3b
  • ↑ https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/office/page-setup-71c20d94-b13e-48fd-9800-cedd1fec6da3
  • ↑ https://create.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/budgets

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1. Open Excel. 2. Click New Blank Workbook . 3. Enter column headers into row 1. 4. Enter data on individual rows. 5. Click the Page Layout tab to format the data. 6. Click File > Save As to save the document. Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Make a Spreadsheet in Excel, Word, Google Sheets, and Smartsheet for Beginners

By Andy Marker | June 13, 2017

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Spreadsheets are grid-based files designed to organize information and perform calculations with scalable entries. People all around the world use spreadsheets to create tables for any personal or business need.

However, spreadsheets have grown from simple grids to powerful tools, functioning like databases or apps that perform numerous calculations on a single sheet. You can use a spreadsheet to determine your mortgage payments over time, or to help calculate the depreciation of assets and how it will affect your business’s taxes. You can also combine data between several sheets, and visualize it in color-coded tables for an at-a-glance understanding. With all the new functionality, using a spreadsheet program can be intimidating for new users.

In this article, you will learn  how to create a spreadsheet in Excel with step-by-step instructions, details on what you can do with all its main functions , information on how to navigate the tools , and some free, easy-to-use templates . You’ll also learn how to do the same for spreadsheets you can create in Word, Google Sheets, and a powerful spreadsheet application, Smartsheet.

How to Create a Spreadsheet in Excel

The world’s most robust pure spreadsheet application, Excel, comes as part of both Microsoft Office and Office 365. There are two main differences between the two offerings: First, Microsoft Office is an on-premise application whereas Office 365 is a cloud-based app suite. Second, Office is a one-time payment, and Office 365 is a monthly subscription. Excel is available for both Mac and PC.

"Spreadsheets keep you organized. Rows and columns, formatting, formulas, filtering. That's the building blocks of structure and overview." - Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

Unique Features of Excel

With over 400 functions, Excel is more or less the most comprehensive spreadsheet option when it comes to pure calculations. It also has strong visualization abilities, including  conditional formatting, Pivot Tables, SmartArt, graphs, and charts. Home and business users alike can create powerful spreadsheets and reports to track data and inform their decisions.

One powerful Excel feature is Macro, little scripts and recordings you can create to make the program perform different actions automatically. While no other spreadsheet program has this type of feature, it is complex and can pose difficulty for beginners.

Excel also has close tie-ins with Microsoft Access, a database program, which can add power. In general, Excel integrates best with databases and any dataset requiring many calculations per workbook.

Understanding Your Main Screen

When you first open Excel in Office 365 or a newer version of Microsoft Office, you’ll see a basic screen. Here are the key features in this view:

work sheet excel

A.  Basic App Functions: From left to right along this top green banner you’ll find icons to: reopen the Create a Workbook page; save your work; undo the last action performed and display which actions were recorded; redo a step that’s been undone; select which tools appear below.

B. Ribbon: This grey area is called the Ribbon, and contains tools for entering, manipulating, and visualizing data. There are also tabs that focus on specific features. Home is selected by default; click on the Insert , Page Layout , Formulas , Data , Review , or View tab to reveal a set of tools unique to each tab. We’ll cover this more in the “Navigating the Ribbon” section later on.

C. Spreadsheet Work Area: By default the work area is a grid. Along the top are column headers A through Z (and beyond), and along the left side are numbered row headers. Each rectangle in the spreadsheet is called a cell, and they are each named according to their column letter and row number. For example, the cell selected here is A3.

D.  Formula Bar: The Formula Bar displays the information contained within a highlighted single cell or range of cells. If in cell A1 you entered “1” as a value, “1” will appear in the Formula Bar . Plain text that you enter in a cell will also appear in the Formula Bar .

There are cases where what you see in the Formula Bar is different than what’s in the cell. For example, let’s say A1 = 1 and A2 = 2. If you create a formula in A3 that equals A1 + A2, then the A3 cell in your worksheet would show “3,” but the Formula Bar would show “=A1+A2.” This is important when you’re trying to move cells to other parts of your worksheet - remember that the display “value” of a cell isn’t necessarily what the cell contains.

That said, other formulas that reference a cell will take into account the current value of a cell. If A4 = A3 + 1, then it would be equal to 4, because it stacks the formula of A3 (A1 + A2) with A4 = A3 + 1. Formulas can reference other formulas multiple times.

E. Search Bar: Simply type the value you want to find to highlight all cells containing that value. It doesn’t have to be an exact match. For instance, if you searched for “o,” a cell labeled “Dogs” would appear among your search results.

F. Sheet Tabs: This is where the different sheets in your workbook can be found. Each sheet gets its own tab, which you can name yourself. These can be useful to separate out data so that one sheet doesn’t get too overwhelming. For example, you might have an annual budget, where each month is a column, and each row is a type of expense. Instead of keeping every single year you track on one sheet and scrolling horizontally, you can make each tab a different year containing 12 months only.

Note that data from different sheets in the same workbook can be referenced for formulas. For example, if you have two sheets, Sheet1 and Sheet2, you could bring Sheet2 data into Sheet1. If you wanted cell A1 in Sheet1 to equal the A1 in Sheet2,  you’d enter this formula into A1: “=Sheet2!A1”. The exclamation mark calls on the previous sheet referenced before locating the data.

G. Viewability Options: The left icon is Normal which shows the worksheet as it appears in the image above, and the right icon is Page Layout , which divides your worksheet into pages resembling how it would look when printed, with the option to add headers. The slider with the “-” and “+” on it is for scale or zoom-level. Drag the slider left or right to zoom in or out.

Navigating the Ribbon

The Home tab is where you manage the formatting and appearance of your sheet, along with some simple formulas you’ll always need. 

work sheet excel

A. Copy and Paste Tools: Use these tools to quickly duplicate data and format styles in the spreadsheet. The Copy tool can either copy a selected cell or group of cells, or copy an area of the spreadsheet that you’ll use as a picture in another document. The Cut tool moves the selection of cells to a new destination rather than duplicating it. 

The Paste tool can paste anything in your clipboard into the selected cell, and typically retains everything including the value, formula, and format. However, Excel has a wealth of pasting options: you can access these by clicking the down arrow next to the Paste icon. You can paste what you’ve copied as a picture. You can also paste what you’ve copied as values only, so that instead of duplicating the formula of a copied cell, you duplicate the final value shown in the cell. 

The Format paintbrush copies everything related to the formatting of a selected cell. When you select a cell and click Format , you can then highlight a whole range of cells, and each one will take on the formatting of the original cell, without changing their values.

B. Visual Formatting Tools: Many of these tools are similar to those found in Microsoft Word. You can use the formatting tools to change the font, size, and color of typed words, and make them bold, italicized, or underlined. It also has a couple spreadsheet-specific formatting options. You can choose which sides of the cell get additional borders, and their style and thickness. You can also change the highlight color of the entire cell. This is useful for creating visually-appealing borders or differentiating rows or columns on large sheets, or for highlighting a particular cell that you want to accentuate. 

C. Position Formatting Tools: Align cell data to the top, bottom, or middle of the cell. There is also an option for angling the values displayed, which can make it easier to read. The bottom row has familiar options for left, center, and right alignment. There are also indent right and left buttons.

D. Multi-cell Formatting Features: This section contains two very important features that solve common problems for new Excel users. The first is Wrap Text . Normally, when you enter text into a cell that extends beyond the size of the cell, it spills into the next cell. For example, if you type “Budgeted Items” into A1, some of the word “Items” spills into B1. Then, if you type into B1, you cover up any characters from A1 that extended into B1. The extra text from cell A1 still exists, but now it is hidden. If you don’t want to widen the cells, click the Wrap Text icon on A1 - this will split “Budgeted Items” into two stacked lines instead of one within A1. This makes the entire row taller to accommodate the content. Now, typing into B1 won’t cover up existing text.

The other tool in this section is Merge and Center . There are instances when you may want to combine several cells and have them act as one long cell. For example, you might want a header for an entire table to be clear and easy to read. Select all the cells you want combined, click Merge , and then type your header and format it. Though the default setting for headers is centered text, simply click the drop-down arrow to select different merging and unmerging options.

E. Numbers-based Format Settings: A drop-down menu has options for number formatting. For example, currency places everything you select into “$0.00” format, and percent turns .5 or ½ into “50%”, date options. These are the basic format options, but you can select More Number Formats from the drop-down menu to get more specialty use cases (different countries’ currencies, or adding the “(xxx)xxx-xxxx” formatting to phone number sequences). Often, you may use these tools on entire columns to make all data in one category behave the same way.

F. Table or Sheet Formatting: Format as Table and Cell Styles allow you to use presets or customize tables (for example, with alternating row colors and highlighted header bars). Select your data range and choose a style to standardize formatting. 

Conditional formatting is a bit more complex. Use the drop-down menu to select from a range of options, like inserting helpful visual icons to represent status or completion, or changing the color of different rows. Most important are the conditional rules , which are created with a simple logic. For example, let’s say you have a column with data in A1 through A3, and A4 holds the sum of these three cells. You could place formatting on A4 with a rule that says “if A4 > 0, then highlight A4 green.” Then, you could add another rule that says “if A4 < 0, then highlight A4 red.” Now you have a quick visual reference where green = a positive number and red = a negative number, which will change based on what you enter into A1, A2, and A3. 

G. Row and Column Formatting Tools: The Insert drop-down menu puts cells, rows, or columns before or after a selected area on the sheet, and Delete removes them. The Format drop-down lets you change the height of rows and the width of columns. It also has options for hiding and unhiding certain sections. 

H. Miscellaneous Tools: Starting at the top left, there’s AutoSum , which allows you to select a swath of cells and place the sum in the cell located right below or directly to the right of the last selected data point. You can use the drop-down to change the function to calculate the average, display the maximum, minimum, or the count of numbers selected.

Use Fill to take a cell’s contents and extend them in any direction for as many cells as you want. If the cell contains a value, Fill will simply copy the value over and over again. If it contains a formula, it will recalculate its relative position for each new cell. If the first cell equals A1+B1, then the next would equal A2+B2, and so on. 

The Clear button lets you either clear the value, or just clear cell formatting. 

Sort & Filter tools let you choose what to display, and in what order. At the base level, this tool sorts cells containing text from A to Z, and cells containing numbers from lowest to highest. It can also sort by color or icon. Sorting and filtering helps surface only the data you need. 

Use the Insert tab to add extra elements to your Excel workbook that go beyond text and colors.

work sheet excel

A. These tools control PivotTables , an important Excel function. Think of PivotTables as “reports,” a quick way to view all your data, analyze trends, and draw conclusions. By selecting at least two rows of data and clicking on PivotTable , you can quickly generate a visually-appealing table. Going through this process launches the PivotTable Builder , which helps you select columns to include, sort them, and drag-and-drop them to quickly construct your table. They can include collapsible rows to make reports interactive and uncluttered. There is also a button for Recommended PivotTables, which can help when you don’t know where to start.

Table builds a simple table that includes any number of columns you select. Rather than placing the table elsewhere on the worksheet, it turns the data into a table on the spot, and applies customizable color formatting.

B. This section lets you insert visual elements, like picture files, pre-built shapes, and SmartArt. You can add shapes and resize, recolor, and reposition them to create intuitive data sets and reports. SmartArt objects are prebuilt diagrams that you can insert text and information into. They’re great for representing what the data says in another place on your workbook.

C. These tools are for inserting elements from other Microsoft products, like Bing Maps, pre-built information cards about People (from Microsoft accounts only), and add-ins from their store.

D. Use these tools to create charts and graphs. Most of them work only if you select one or more data sets (numbers only, with words for headers or categories). Charts and graphs function like you’d expect - just select the data you want to visualize, then select your desired type of visual (bar charts, scatter plots, pie charts, or line graphs). Creating one will bring up formatting options where you can change the color, labels, and more.

E. Sparklines are more simplistic graphs that can fit in as little as one cell. You can place them next to data for a small, quick visual representation.

F. Slicers are big lists of buttons that make your data more interactive. You can select a PivotTable you’ve created, and then create a slicer from it - this allows a viewer to click on buttons that correlate to the data they want to filter. 

G. This hyperlink tool allows you to make a cell or table into a clickable link. Once a viewer clicks on the affected cell(s), they’ll be taken to whatever website or intranet site you select.

H. Recent versions of Excel allow for better collaboration - insert comments on any cell or range of cells to add more context. You can open or close the comments so the worksheet doesn’t get too cluttered.

I. A Text Box is useful when you’re creating a report and don’t want typed words to behave like cells. It makes it easy to move your text around, rather than cutting and pasting cells (which could potentially mess up the formatting of real data). The next area is for Headers & Footers , which will take you to the page layout view - here you can add headers and footers for the entire page. WordArt , on the other hand, lets you embellish text. Insert Object lets you place entire files (Word documents, PDFs, etc.) into the worksheet.

J. This section lets you insert Equations and Symbols .  Use equations to write a math equation with fractions, variables, and more that you can place in your sheet like a Text Box . For instance, this can be helpful for explaining how a portion of a table was calculated in a report. Symbols , on the other hand, can be inserted directly into cells, and include all non-standard characters from most languages, as well as emojis.   The Page Layout tab has everything you need to change the structural parts of your worksheet, especially for purposes of printing or presenting.

work sheet excel

A. Use these buttons to quickly adjust the visual style of your entire sheet. You can regulate the fonts and colors, and use the Themes section to quickly apply it to every table, PivotTable , and SmartArt element for a clean, well-designed sheet.

B. These are print options. You can change the margin for printing, whether you want a vertical or horizontal print alignment, which cells in your sheet you want to print, where you’d like page breaks, and whether it has a background (to place your company name, for example). You can also start giving each page a heading using the Print Titles button, and the order to print each section. 

C. This lets you choose how many pages across and how many pages down you’d like to print.

D. This section lets you toggle whether the automatic grids appear for working on the sheet and for printing it, along with the row and column headings (A, B, C, 1, 2, 3, etc). 

The Formulas tab stores nearly everything related to Excel’s reputation as “complex.” Because this article is intended for beginners, we won’t cover every function is this section thoroughly.

work sheet excel

A. The Insert Function button is useful for those who don’t know all the shorthand. This brings up a side Formula Builder section that describes each function, and you can select the one you want to use.

B. These buttons divide all the functions by category. 

  • AutoSum works the same as it does in the Home tab. 
  • Recently Used is helpful for bringing up frequently used formulas to save time looking through menus. 
  • Financial includes everything related to currency, values, depreciation, yield, rate, and more. 
  • Logical includes conditional functions, like “IF X THEN Y.” 
  • Text functions help clean, regulate, and analyze plain text cells, such as displaying the character count of a cell (helpful for Twitter posts), combining two different rows via Concatenate , or pulling out numerical values from text entries that aren’t formatted correctly. 
  • Date & Time functions help make meaning out of time-formatted cells, and include entries like “TODAY,” which enters the current date.
  • Lookup & Reference functions help pull information from different parts of your workbook to save you the trouble of looking for them.
  • Math & Trig functions are just what they sound like, involving every sort of math discipline you can imagine.
  • More Functions includes Statistical and Engineering data.

C. This section contains tagging options. If there’s a range of cells or a table you frequently need to refer to in formulas, you can define its name and tag it here. For example, say you had a column that contained the entire list of products you sell. You could highlight the names in that list and Define Name as “ProductList.” Every time you want to refer to that column in a formula, you can simply type “ProductList” (rather than finding that collection of data again or memorizing their cell positions). 

D. This contains error checking tools. With Trace Precedents and Trace Dependents , you can see which cells contain formulas that refer to a given cell and vice versa. Show Formulas reveals the formulas inside all cells, rather than their display values. Error Checking automatically finds broken links and other issues with your spreadsheet.

E. Should you have a large sheet with a massive series of interconnected formulas, tables and cells, you can use this section to trigger calculations, and also to choose which types of data don’t run. A good example is a mortgage or asset depreciation sheet .

  The Data tab is for performing more complex data analysis than most beginners will need.

work sheet excel

A. These are database import tools, allowing you to import data from any web, file, or server-based database. 

B. This section helps you fix database connections, refresh data, and adjust properties.

C. These are Sort and Filter options similar to those for data you have within your sheet, applied to data feeds. They’re especially crucial here as a database is sure to have more data than you can or care to use. 

D. These are data manipulation tools. You can take a single long string, like those separated by commas or spaces, and divide them into columns with Text to Columns . You can seek and remove duplicates, consolidate cells, and validate whether data meets certain criteria to assess its accuracy. What-if Analysis helps you fill in gaps with incomplete data using existing data and trends to determine likely outcomes for new scenarios.

E. These tools help you manage how much data you have to deal with at once and group them by whatever criteria you deem necessary. It’s similar to sorting, but you can choose any range of columns or rows and make them collapsible, each with their own label. Use Subtotal to create automatic calculations along a data set by different categories, which is helpful for financial sheets. 

  The Review tab is part of the Ribbon that helps with sharing and accuracy checks.

work sheet excel

A. These are simple text-based checks (like in Word) that allow you to locate cells with spelling errors, or find more appropriate words via the Thesaurus.

B. Check Accessibility pulls up errors that can make it difficult to access the data in other programs, or just for reading purposes. It might find that your sheet is missing alt text, or that you’re using defaults for sheet names that can make navigation less intuitive. 

C. The commenting tools allow collaborators to “talk” to each other within the sheet. 

D. Protecting and sharing tools allow you to invite collaborators and restrict access to certain parts of the sheet. You can manually assign different levels of access - for example, you might allow a contractor to edit just the cells related to the hours they worked, but not the cells that calculate their pay. As with Word, sharing a sheet with Tracked Changes means you can see everything that’s been done to the sheet.

E. When you’ve shared a workbook, you can restrict permissions later on using this button and selecting individual contributors. 

  Use the tools in the View tab to change settings related to what you can see or do.

work sheet excel

A. This is your basic view where you can see your default sheet view, how it’ll look when printing, and in custom ways you set yourself.

B. Use these buttons to choose whether you want to see the grids, headings, formula bar, and ruler. 

C. This is another way to control zooming in and out of cells.

D. Freeze Pane controls are an important part of making a usable spreadsheet. Using these tools, you can freeze a number of rows and/or columns while you scroll around. For example, if the first row had all your column headings and remained frozen, you’ll always know which column you are looking at as you scroll down.

E. Macros are a way of automating processes in Excel. It is far beyond Excel 101, however.

How to Create a Simple Budget Spreadsheet in Excel

Now that you’ve learned about the tools in Excel, let’s practice making our own spreadsheet from scratch. This guide will cover basics, with a few intermediate techniques to get you more comfortable with spreadsheets.

Step 1: Create a Workbook

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  When you open Excel, you’ll be presented with a screen like this. Create a new workbook by clicking the New tab on the sidebar. The Recent tab below that will bring up any workbooks you’ve recently opened. Below that is the Shared tab, which shows workbooks that other Excel users have sent to you directly through the app (we won’t focus on that right now). The final tab is Open , which opens a file browser so you can select an existing workbook.    On the New tab, you can see a number of templates available, which can help you jump straight into making specific types of spreadsheets, like budgets and task lists. In this example, however, we’re going to build a spreadsheet from scratch. Click Blank Workbook on the top left corner, then click Create .

Step 2: Plan Your Needed Data 

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Before you can create any kind of spreadsheet, you need to plan what it’ll include so you can structure and format it accordingly. While it is possible to change the spreadsheet structure later on, the more data you’ve added, the more inconvenient it becomes. Plus, moving around entire rows and columns increases the chances of accidentally changing formulas. In this example, we’re making a monthly budget, so we’ll use a monthly time stamp. As we explored above, we can use other sheets in this workbook to track other time increments, like weeks or years. Of course we want to add all of our different expenses together, but we should also think of categories for comparison. We could have one for necessities, and one for luxuries. We’ll need subtotal rows, along with a comparison of budget to actual spending. At the end, we’ll also want to easily compare the different parts of the budget together.

Now we know the elements we need, and can organize them accordingly.

Step 3: Create Headings

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Since we know we want to compare month to month, we should use months as our column headings - horizontally is usually best for time comparison. Since we know we’ll also have categories of spending to label and sublabel, we should leave the A and B columns open, and start at cell C1.    Here’s a useful trick: if you type a number or timestamp with a logical next entry, you can click the lower right corner of that cell and drag in any direction to autofill the rest of the sequence as far as you want. For this example, after typing “January” in C1, you can drag it across to N1 and watch it fill in the rest of the months. To create the diagonal names in the screenshot, navigate to the Home tab and find and click the formatting option with a diagonal rising appearance. This makes the headings stand out without changing the column width. We’ll also need an area on the sheet where we can get row totals for more useful data, so create the heading Total in cell O1. 

Step 4: Label the Rows

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Create three blocks of entries on column B. Name the first block Necessities , which will include everything you see, and end with a subtotal. Name the second block Luxuries and include a few categories; also end with a subtotal. The last block will have our Total , the budget to compare it to, and the difference between the two, which we’ll call Saved (this amount represents the difference between the expected and actual spent). To makes them stand out, use the Paint Bucket tool and select a color (grey in this example).

For column A, we’ll create labels that clearly line up with our grey blocks, and position the writing vertically so it doesn’t take too much space. To make the width of the column smaller, grab the right edge of the A column and drag it to the left. To combine all the cells for our category labels, highlight A2 through A7, and Merge & Center . To get the writing vertical, navigate to the Home tab, find the formatting option and click vertical writing . Finally, choose the height alignment as centered so the vertical text will appear in the middle. Repeat this with cells A9 through A13.

  Step 5: Add Boundaries

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Add boundaries to the spreadsheet using the icon in the above graphic. Select each collection of cells, and don’t adjust the spaces between the grey block groupings. Click All Borders to draw distinct grids. Now, make the outer boundary of each block thicker by selecting the entire area and choosing Thick Box Border . Finally, do the same around the inner row of each box labeled Subtotal , to make these visually distinct. Apply a Thick Box Border to Column O, Total, and leave spaces between each row grouping. All of this improves spreadsheet readability.   Step 6: Create a Results Table

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Use the side of your nicely-formatted spreadsheet to create the outlines of a simple table which will contain your main results. This information will assist you in creating a chart, later. Give it an appropriate label, and label its rows for the total from Necessities , the total from Luxuries , and the total Saved for the year. 

Step 7: Format and Write Formulas

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This is where the spreadsheet gets a lot more powerful. It involves a series of steps:   A. First, select every cell that will contain a number, underneath columns C through O, and also in the table for Portion of Budget. Now click the “$” on the keyboard to format the cells with the standard dollar format with two decimals for cents. 

B. Select cells C2 through C7 and click AutoSum . This creates a formula that adds everything in this column, and places the sum into C7 (the last selected cell). 

C. Use your cursor to grab the bottom right corner of cell C7, and drag it to the right toward column O. This will duplicate your formula down the entire Subtotal row. This means that while C7 = sum of C2 through C6, D7 = sum of D2 through D6, and so on. Repeat the process for Luxuries.

D. For the Total, Budget , and Saved area, the process is a little different. Click cell C15, and enter this formula: =C7+C13. This totals the two subtotals. Like you did with the other formulas, drag and duplicate it across to column O. 

F. Click cell C17, and input this formula: =C16-C15. This will make the Saved row equal to the difference between Budget and Total.

E. Finally, add formulas to each empty cell of your Portion of Budget table. Q3=O7, which will bring the yearly subtotal of all Necessities items to the Necessities part of this table. Do the same for the Luxuries table annual subtotal and the Saved annual total.    Step 8: Script Conditional Formatting

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Before entering data, there’s one more bit of set up: conditional formatting. To do this, click the drop down arrow on Conditional Formatting and click Manage Rules. Next, click + to add a rule, which takes you to a new popup menu. Click Style: Classic . Then choose Format only cells that contain , and click Cell Value greater than 0 . Format this with a standard option, green fill with dark green text. Now you’ll be returned to the Manage Rules section, where you can select which range of cells it applies to. Choose C17 through O17 to have it affect the Saved row only. 

Now repeat the steps, but this time Format only cells that contain the Cell Value equal to or less than 0 . Use the standard option light red fill with dark red text , and apply it to the same range of cells. 

Now you have a conditional format for all the final calculated Saved row entries. If it’s greater than 0, it gets marked green, and if it’s 0 or less, it gets marked red. When your data is entered, you can instantly see which months you saved money in, and which you didn’t.    Step 9: Enter Data and Watch the Calculations

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First, enter an assumed budget, and copy it across the Budget row by dragging it from its bottom right corner. In this case, the assumed budget is $3,000.00.   Next, enter your data for each month of last year, totaled from receipts and bank statements, and categorized accordingly. Now for the magic of spreadsheets: as you enter each bit of data, you’ll see your Subtotals, Totals, Saved rows filling in, as well as the Portion of Budget t able - all calculating and updating in real-time. 

Step 10: Create a Pie Chart

Create a simple visualization. Select the entire Portion of Budget table, and then click the Insert tab on the Ribbon , and choose Pie Chart . Because of how the table is set up, the chart will be titled Portion of Budget , and each dollar amount will appear as a percent of the pie chart with the necessary label. Don’t forget to click Save on the top left of the Excel app.      Now you have an incredibly useful spreadsheet that tells you exactly how well you stuck to your budget each month while also getting a sense of where your money went last year overall. You can copy and use this spreadsheet year after year.   If you want more help getting started creating a budget, check out Top Excel Budget Templates .  Additionally, increase your speed with this complete list of keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Excel.

How to Create a Spreadsheet in Word

Learn all the basics for making a spreadsheet with Microsoft Word. Word is the world’s most popular word processing application, featuring countless ways to format text-based documents, but also including simple tables and spreadsheets. Like Excel, the app comes as part of Microsoft Office and Office 365, and has versions for both PC and Mac. This tutorial uses the Microsoft Word version available in Office 365.

Unique Features of Word

In fact, Word isn’t really a spreadsheet app, but an app for typing and laying out text documents. It’s far easier to format sentences and paragraphs in Word than in the text boxes available in Excel, let alone inside cells. Because of this, Word can be used to create compelling reports or to insert semi-workable data into a text-heavy document, such as an article.    Word has two modes of spreadsheet creation: creating simple tables in the program itself, or inserting sheets and charts from Excel.

Understanding the Word Interface

Unlike Excel, where everything in the Ribbon is vital to creating a spreadsheet, only a few items are relevant in Word. For starters, almost everything you need is in the Insert tab. Here are the relevant Insert tab tools:

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A. Table: Click this button to create basic tables in a few ways. When you click Table , a grid appears that you can hover over and click to choose the number of vertical and horizontal cells you want for your spreadsheet. If you click Insert Table , you get a pop-up window that lets you specify the spreadsheet’s dimensions by typing the number of rows and columns for the table, as well as setting the width of cells. Lastly, you can select Draw Table to drag and create as many cells as you like. Despite how simple it seems, Draw Table isn’t actually the best or easiest way to create a spreadsheet in Word.

B. Chart: A drop-down menu appears when you click this button that has the same types and styles of charts - and even the same interface - as Excel. You’ll see scatter plots, pie charts, line graphs, and more. 

C. Table Design and Layout: When you click on any table in your Word document, two additional tabs appear in the center of the Ribbon - Table Design and Layout . Both tabs work only for tables, and contain further Ribbon menus explained below. 

D. Object: You can bring Excel elements directly into your Word document. Either insert a Microsoft Excel Chart or a Microsoft Excel Worksheet. Selecting either of these options will open Excel so you can create and edit a fully functional spreadsheet that will then appear as-is in the Word document. These spreadsheets and charts behave like images in Word, so you can move them around and resize them, and even double-click them to open up Excel and update their data.

You can also insert an existing Excel file. To do this, click From File , then navigate to the location of the Excel file and open it. Initially, only the primary sheet appears, but double-click it to allow anyone to access the whole workbook, unless you protect it. 

  Let’s focus on the Table Design tab. These options are only for tables created within Word, not those imported from Excel.

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E. Use these toggles to choose certain table layout elements such as column, row, or header color.

F. These are style presents very similar to table styles in Excel, with a wide variety of colors and varieties. Plus, with the Paint Bucket icon, you can customize the shading rather than choosing one from the dropdown menu.

G. These tools let you design the borders of each individual cell, and the entire table. You can choose thickness, color, and type of line (dotted, straight, wavy, etc). 

Next, let’s look at the Layout tab. Again, this only works for tables created in Word.

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H. Use these tools to select rows, and choose whether or not to show the gridlines. You can also open up the Properties window and edit various elements, table alignment, or how the borders and shading appear.

I. This is another home for the Draw Table and Erase table tools. Use these tools to drag your mouse and draw each cell and erase them, one side at a time.

J. These are tools for deleting rows, columns, or entire tables. You can also do this by highlighting a cell, right-clicking, and selecting to delete these portions.

K. Insert rows or columns wherever you like in your table with these tools. Again, you can also access these tools by highlighting and right-clicking different parts of the table.

L. These tools let you change the organization of your table. You can merge and unmerge cells, like in Excel. This is a helpful feature for creating headers or spacing in your table. You can also split the table between any two rows. 

M. Perform Autofit to automatically fit your table into the Word document’s space, or to make all columns the same width.

N. Adjust the height and width of rows and columns numerically, rather than using drag and drop.

O. Use these tools to select multiple rows or columns, and evenly distribute them across the page to make your table look clean and professional.

P. The alignment tools help you specify how to align the contents of each cell (top left, bottom right, center, etc.).  can also choose if you want the text to be horizontal or vertical. 

R. Here is where basic spreadsheet functions live, and they aren’t nearly as robust as what you’d find in Excel. Sort works the same way, allowing you to select several rows in a column and use them to alphabetize the table. Convert to Text lets you select any number of cells and put them in text value without a table, separated by commas or spaces. This can be helpful for editing contents in paragraph form later, or importing data into other applications. 

Finally, there are the functions. Word tables have 18 core functions that are mostly math with a couple logical IF and THEN functions. Calling cells in formulas is also somewhat more difficult in Word. If you have a single row table, then every cell will be row 1 - A1, B1, C1, etc. However, these aren’t labeled, so you have to count over, or just memorize them. You can also call by position: if you want to know the sum of all cells in a column and put it in the last cell, select the last cell, and make the formula “=SUM (ABOVE).” Likewise, use RIGHT, LEFT, or BELOW to call everything in those directions.  

The other relevant item to spreadsheets that can be created in Word is the chart function. In the Insert tab, click the insert Chart button to access this feature. Once you choose a style, it will open Excel so you can edit the chart data. The functionality works exactly the same as in the Excel tutorial above. However, once the chart is in Word, two new tabs in the Ribbon , in place of Table Design and Layout . They become Chart Design and Format .

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A. Use these tools to add extra important elements to your chart, either individually with Add Chart Element , or all at once using the helpful presets with Quick Layout . 

B. Use these tools to adjust the style of your chart without changing its layout too much. You can adjust colors, drop shadows, background, and more. 

C. Manipulate data in the chart with this set of tools. Switch Row/Column lets you change the X-Y-axes of your chart. Select Data takes you back into your Excel session to choose data set you want represented in the chart. Edit Data in Excel allows you to change anything you like about the data in Excel. You can also go into Excel by double-clicking your chart. When you return to Word, click Refresh Data to update your chart to reflect any changes made to the data in Excel. 

D. Change Chart Type allows you to switch from a pie chart to a line graph and so on, using the same set of data.

  Now look at the Format tab. 

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E. The selector tool lets you choose which part of the chart you’d like to edit so you don’t accidentally click elsewhere. You can select the Plot Area where the graph is stored, the Chart Area where all the axis labels exist, or any other element.

F. Use this to insert shapes into your chart, just like inserting any other object into Word. 

G. Use these tools to color every element on your chart, which can include how you want to fill in lines, the text color, and more.

H. These are all your style options for text in your charts that handle adding WordArt, a fill color, and more.

I. The positioning tools work similarly to positioning other objects in Word. You can make the text wrap around the chart with Wrap Text , and place it behind or in front of any other element on the page. 

J. Use these tools to numerically change the height and width of the entire chart. You can also adjust the chart’s height and width by grabbing the corner or side and adjusting it with your mouse.

K. This opens the Format Pane , which has some of the same tools found in the Ribbon , but they are larger and easier for some to access.

How to Import a Spreadsheet and Chart into Word from Excel

Now that you’ve learned about the spreadsheet tools in Word, you can practice a few different ways to import an existing spreadsheet into Word.

Step 1: Create a Word Document

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When you open Word, this screen appears. The New tab on the left side lets you create a new document, Recent surfaces recently opened documents, Shared shows documents that other Word users have sent to you, and Open opens a file browser for selecting an existing document.    On the New tab, you can see a number of templates which you can use to jump straight into making different types of documents like resumes, blogs, and research papers. Most don’t relate to spreadsheets at all, so click Blank Document on the top left corner, then click Create .

Step 2: Save Your Document

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Once your document is created, save it by clicking the save icon shown above, and select a location to save it. Give it a name relevant to its purpose, so it’s easy to find.   Step 3: Import an Excel Workbook into Your Document

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Go to the Insert tab, and click Object .

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When the Insert Object popup window appears, click Microsoft Excel Worksheet , and then click From File . This opens a file browser window, where you can select the Simple Budget spreadsheet you created earlier, for instance. Open it.   Step 4: Resize Spreadsheet to Fit

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A spreadsheet as large as the one we created is too large for a standard Word document at its normal size. To shrink it, click once on the imported spreadsheet, and hold down the Shift key. While pressing Shift , select a corner of the spreadsheet and drag it towards the center of the object a few times. It’s important to note that spreadsheets behave like a regular picture or object in Word, so you can drag them around and change their size as you like. Feel free to add text below the spreadsheet, as well.

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Regardless of the spreadsheet’s size, you cannot interact with the data within Word. However, all of your formulas and formatting will remain intact. You can still work with the rest of the document, typing words and inserting pictures around the spreadsheet. 

Step 5: Edit the Data in Excel

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To edit the data, double-click the spreadsheet to open the spreadsheet in a new Excel window. Here, you can edit any data. It updates in real-time, meaning that as soon as you make the change in Excel, the change will be reflected in Word. In this way, you can bring fully-functional spreadsheets straight into Word.   Note: When you double-click on an inserted object like an Excel workbook, you have access to the entire workbook, not just the first sheet which appears as an object in Word. If you are sharing a document like this with someone and don’t want them to access other sheets, make sure to enable Protect Sheet in Excel.

How to Copy an Excel Spreadsheet and Chart Into Word

The newer version of Word lets you simply copy and paste cells and other Excel elements from an Excel workbook into a Word document. Here’s how to do it:   Step 1: Open Your Excel File Open the Simple Budget workbook that contains your table, chart, and spreadsheet in Excel.   Step 2: Select and Copy a Range of Cells, a Table, or a Chart

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Highlight cells in the budget spreadsheet, then press Ctrl+C to copy the data. Alternatively, you can single-click the Portion of Budget chart, and press Ctrl+C to copy it.   Step 3: Open Your Word Document and Paste the Selected Cells or Chart  

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In your Word document, right-click on your mouse and click Paste to paste your chart and your selected Excel worksheet content into your Word document, one at a time. (Note that for this example, we aren’t copying the entire spreadsheet.) You’ll notice that some cell formatting is lost; this is because the data comes into Word and behaves like a table created in Word, rather than as an Excel spreadsheet.   Step 4: Format Your Data

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Charts in Word behave a lot like charts in Excel. When you single-click a chart to select it, it opens the Chart Design and Format tabs so you can manipulate information (for example, the design and layout). If you need to change some of the chart’s data, click Edit Data in Excel on the Ribbon . You can also hover over areas of this pie chart to surface additional information such as how many dollars the blue portion represents.

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By contrast, spreadsheets and tables don’t behave the same in Word, because Word’s table abilities are much more limited. A lot of the formatting as is kept intact, but you lose almost all the formulas. For example, notice the months in the header are no longer angled 45 degrees upward. If you click on the Formula button while keeping your cursor in any cell, the formula that cell contains should appear. The January subtotal for Necessities claims to have the formula =SUM(ABOVE) , meaning this cell is the sum of every cell with numbers above it. However, this isn’t true - editing the cells above won’t update the numbers. You can re-enter this formula, and it will insert the new sum, but it will treat the rest of the text inside this cell as just text, squeezing the new sum in with it.

The conclusion? Copying tables directly from Excel can be a quick way to get a visual table into Word. However, it is not useful if you need to update the data since it doesn’t retain formulas. Charts, however, are fine to copy and paste into Word, as they are still editable in Excel with their full functionality.

How to Create an Excel Spreadsheet and Chart Directly in Word

Step 1: Create and Save a Word Document Create a Word document in the same way as above, and remember to save it.   Step 2: Insert New Excel Elements  

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This time, open the Insert tab and go to Insert Object , then click either Microsoft Excel Chart to insert a chart, or Microsoft Excel Worksheet to insert a full worksheet. Click OK . Either option will open Excel. 

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The Microsoft Excel Worksheet will open a blank Excel sheet. You can enter whatever information you want into it, following the same process as you used in the Excel tutorial above. Anything you change in Excel will immediately change in Word, as well, whether it’s spacing of cells, color and border formatting, or the formulas within them. You cannot change anything about the data in Word, and will again have to double-click the object to open Excel to make edits.    If you find you have extraneous cells, you can also double-click to open Excel, select the data you want, then right-click and select Copy . When you go back to Word, right-click and select Paste Special in the Edit menu, then click Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object . Delete the original object.

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Charts will work as described in the previous section on copying Excel charts. Adding a chart will open an Excel file that has one sheet with the chart, and one with the data. Once you save the chart in your Word document, the data will stay in Excel with only one sheet, and the chart will appear in the Word document. You can change the data in Excel at any time by double-clicking the chart, and changing the styling of the chart in Word.

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The other way to insert a chart into Word is to click the Insert tab, then click Chart , and select the type of chart and design you want. Then, you will be taken to Excel to enter your data from scratch, which will update your chart in Word.   Step 3: Change Alignment and Text Wrapping

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Now you’re going to learn how to adjust these elements in Word to make a working document. First, shrink the size of the chart by clicking the corner of the object and moving it inward. This action creates a more manageable size.

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You’ll notice that it’s not very easy to move the chart around the document. Word automatically tries to force alignment on objects so that they don’t slide out of place and confuse users. To move your chart or table more freely, single-click on your table or chart, and click the Layout tab on the Ribbon . Select Wrap Text , and click Tight to drag-and-drop the object anywhere on the page.

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When you type words around the inserted chart, they won’t overlap or go behind the object, but instead neatly arrange around it (regardless of where you place it on the page).

How to Create a Pure Word Spreadsheet Table for Simple Scheduling

The final way to create spreadsheets in Word is to create a table from scratch. These tables are generally  only capable of simple functions, so we’ll create a weekly schedule.   Step 1: Create and Save Your Word Document   Do this the same way as listed above.   Step 2: Insert a Table

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Click the Insert tab, and click Insert Table to see a grid. You can hover over the small squares to create a table of any height and width. Since we’re making a weekly schedule, we’ll do seven columns, and since we’ll have a header with three entries, four rows.   Step 3: Create Headers

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Now we have a blank table with a set amount of cells. The cursor appears in the first cell of top row. Start typing to create column headers. Don’t bother applying any styling yet. Also note that Word tables don’t have any of the Excel features that autofill data like days of the week, so you have to type each day manually.   Step 4: Enter the Data

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Enter your data for each day, consisting of your necessary tasks and the hours they require. For simplicity’s sake, our table will only include a few values.    Sometimes text might be longer than a cell, causing it to split into two lines. Change the width of the cells with longer content by grabbing the left or right edge of a cell, and dragging it as you see fit.   Step 5: Apply Styles

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To make the schedule visually appealing, apply quick styling presets to it. Click the Home tab. Select your entire table, then choose a preset you like from the Ribbon . Since you have a heading row, make sure to choose a style that makes it visually distinct.

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Now you have a simple, nicely-designed table you can use for day to day scheduling. To extend it and add more items to your to-do list, click a row and then right-click on your mouse and choose Insert: Rows Below .   See a complete list of keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Word.

How to Make a Spreadsheet in Google Sheets

This section will cover all the basics for working with Google Sheets. Google Sheets is a spreadsheet app that lives in the cloud, meaning you never have to download anything, and you can update Sheets from any computer or smartphone. Most notably, it’s free - anyone with a Google/Gmail account can access all of its features. 

Unique Features of Google Sheets

Google Sheets is not quite as robust as Excel in terms of functionality. It has fewer formula functions, a less accessible toolset, and you can’t set up any automation macros. What Google Sheets does have, however, is quite good for basic users: real-time collaboration abilities. This means that you can share a Sheet with other Google users, collaborate with them on the same spreadsheet, and see each other’s changes and comments instantly.    Google Sheet’s other unique feature is Explore, which lets you pull up instant insights about data, and also auto-generates charts, tables, and graphs to insert into a document.   Sheets integrates with all other Google products, allowing you to insert Google Forms data automatically. Sheets you create will be saved to your Google Drive account, and you can quickly insert any images you have in Google Photos. 

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A. This takes you back to the Google Sheets hub page, which contains your most recent Google Sheets and a number of templates.

B. Use this area to name your Sheet. Click Untitled Spreadsheet and type a title for your sheet. Clicking the star lets you “favorite” this sheet so it’s easier to find. Clicking on the folder icon shows you where this file is located in your Google Drive, and allows you to move it.

C. All the icons along this grey section are your main toolbar. They include simple formatting options, alignment options, commenting, filtering, and some function tools. Below these tools is the Formula Bar , which works just like the Excel Formula Bar. You can enter and view different formulas for cells here.

D. The Comments button opens all comments and allows you to leave comments on the current cell or range of selected cells. It also lets you choose notifications settings: get notified every time you make a change made, every time any user makes a change, or never. 

E. The Share button is essential to Google Sheet’s value proposition. When you click it, you can enter in the email addresses of everyone you want to receive the Sheet. Start typing the name of someone in your Google Contacts, and Sheets will recognize and autofill it. You can also choose the permission level of people you’re sharing with: either let them view it, let them view and comment, or let them view, comment on, and edit it. You can also lock down more permissions in Advanced Settings .

F. This is your workspace. It functions very similarly to Excel, with columns A-Z and beyond, and rows 1-any number you like. Each cross-section is a cell with a unique address, like A1 highlighted here. This is important for formulas.

G. Use these tabs to access the multiple sheets in one Google Sheets document. The tabs function exactly like Excel’s sheets, but you can color them to easily differentiate. 

H. Hovering over this icon surfaces Explore . Clicking on this brings up a righthand pane that generates unique information about any selected group of cells, charts, or tables.

Navigating the Tools in Sheets

Unlike Microsoft products, Google doesn’t have a variable Ribbon of tools, just a series of drop-down menus with similar functions. This section will cover where to find all the spreadsheet tools in Google Sheets.

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A. These are some basic functions, including the print tool, undo and redo, and the format paintbrush. Use these tools to take the color/style/attributes/formats of a selected cell and apply them to any other cells you highlight immediately afterwards.

B. Use these text formatting tools to turn number entries into percentages, or standard dollar formats like “$1.00.” Use the quick buttons in this area to add or remove a decimal place.

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Click the drop down to see more currency, date and time formats, and other options hidden in another menu.

C. This is a standard font selector. Choose any built-in fonts to format the text in any cell.

D. A standard point-size selector for any characters you’re typing into a cell.

E. These are mostly standard style formatting tools for text, like bold, italics, and text color.

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The text color selector is also where you’ll find the “conditional formatting” tools. These tools allow you to choose a range of cells and create if/then conditions to change their formatting (color, font, size, background color, cross-out, and more). You can add numerous rules to a single selection of cells so their format will reflect your chosen status at a glance.

F. This is where cell style formatting options live. You can also access conditional formatting tools in the paint bucket drop-down menu. Use these tools to either select or draw your cell borders, including thickness and style (dotted line, straight line, etc.). The last button here controls merge, and works just like it does in Excel and Word tables.

G. These are alignment tools. You can choose left, right, and center align, as well as top, bottom, and floating alignment in the cell. The third icon is Text Wrap , allowing text to either overflow into the next cell, wrap downwards and increase the height of your cell, or “clip” the text when it starts overflowing. (The text is still there, it’s just hidden.) The final button in this area lets you angle your text differently, like in Excel. 

H. These are tools that work for higher-order purposes. The first lets you make a cell or range of cells link to a website or file. The second is your comment options - just highlight a range of cells and click it to comment. Others can reply to your comments, too. 

Next is Insert Chart , which brings up a fairly robust popup window with numerous data visualization options. There are more types than found in Excel, but there are fewer styles of each. In addition to line, bar, and pie charts, there are maps that light up based on location data you include, org charts for companies, radar graphs, and Venn diagrams, to name a few.

The next icon is for sorting and filtering, which lets you insert filter menus on top of each column that you can update and change in real time. 

The final icon is your primary formula drop-down menu. It only shows a few functions by default - SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT, MIN, MAX. The rest of the functions are hidden in More Functions, which brings up a new page that just has a list of functions. The Formula Bar also has an autocomplete feature: start typing “=” and a couple letters to reveal a list of functions with those letters for you to select and insert into the formula.  

All the other tools are hidden in drop-down menus, which are covered below. File and Edit contain basic functions for downloading, sharing, undoing, and redoing. The Edit menu also has Find and Replace , which lets you scan the document for any cells containing your search criteria.   View Menu:

work sheet excel

  • Freeze: This submenu contains everything you need to freeze panes. You can freeze any number of columns and rows you like, so that necessary information stays put while you scroll around the screen. For example, if your first row has heading names for all the columns, you can see those headings no matter how far you scroll.
  • Gridlines: This controls whether or not you see the grids on your worksheet. It might be necessary to remove them when printing, for example.
  • Show Formulas: When you enter a formula into a cell, it will display however that formula resolves as a value. For example, if A1=1 and B1=2, and you made C1 have the formula “=A1+B1”, then it would show the value of 3. However, what the cell actually contains is its formula. Show Formulas displays the formula for all cells, rather than their value.

Insert Menu:

work sheet excel

The first few parts of the menu let you insert columns, rows, and cells where you like, or add another sheet to the workbook. You can also add comments, charts, and functions.

  • Note: Use notes to explain data and guide users, rather than as comments to be responded to. You can add a note to any cell or range of cells can be given a note.
  • Image: Import an image into your Google Sheet from Google Photos, Google Drive, a website, or your computer.
  • Form: Insert a Google Form into your sheet. This allows data collected from the form to appear as new rows in the sheet.
  • Drawing: Google Drawings is a tool that lets you drag and drop shapes and colors to create simple infographics and diagrams. You can bring them into a sheet straight from that app.

Format Menu:

work sheet excel

The Format menu consists of redundant tools that are also on the toolbar, but has two additional tools:

  • Alternating Colors: A sidebar appears on the right side of the sheet that lets you build tables with alternating colors like in Excel. There are presets, some with a header color that is distinct from the rest, and it also allows you to build custom versions. Simply select your cells and apply it to them.
  • Clear Formatting: Highlight cells and press this button to remove all formatting, leaving the cells bare with just their contents and/or values displayed.

work sheet excel

  • Sorting: The sorting options are redundant with the sorting tools on the main toolbar. These add ranges that you can sort within.
  • Protected Sheets and Ranges: This lets you choose certain cells or sheets that you want to prevent people from editing.
  • PivotTable: These PivotTables work like they do in Excel: select a group of data with at least two columns, and create reports. The report editor appears on the side, letting you choose what data you want grouped in rows, columns, and what values and filters to use.
  • Data Validation: For more complex sheets, this feature can find errors and missing data for you to correct.

Tools Menu:

work sheet excel

  • Create a Form: This launches a Google Form creation window, automatically tied to your Google Sheet. When you embed this into websites or send through an email, all response data will feed into your sheet.
  • Script Editor: This allows you to write custom functions and scripts to automate and extend the abilities of Google Sheets. This feature is for advanced users only.
  • Enable Autocomplete: A useful setting that allows Google Sheets to use what it learns to fill-in information. It’s recommended to keep this on.
  • Protect Sheet: This lets you password protect parts or all of your sheet so that only the right people you’ve shared it with can access it.
  • Personal Dictionary: This is every word your Google Account has been told is a correctly-spelled word that doesn’t exist in its main dictionary.

Form Menu: This menu just has some redundant features about Google Forms.   Add-Ons: This menu has links to Google Sheets add-on marketplace. These are mostly unofficial extensions that different developers have created to make Google Sheets more useful. They don’t always work properly, and aren’t recommended for elementary users.

How to Create a Product Sales Tracker in Google Sheets

Now that you know about all the tools in Google Sheets, practice making your own spreadsheet from scratch. This guide will cover basics and some of the app’s unique features to quickly produce a great spreadsheet. For this example, we’ll build a more complex spreadsheet than we did in the previous two examples.   Step 1: Create a New Google Sheet

work sheet excel

Start by opening Google Sheets. You can search for an existing sheet or open it within your Google or Gmail account, near your icon in the top right corner. The Grid Icon should list the Sheets app. Once you arrive on the main Google Sheets hub page, you’ll be able to see and search for any other spreadsheets you’ve created, and choose templates. Let’s start from scratch and click Blank.   Step 2: Plan Your Data As with the Excel spreadsheet, you must plan out what data and analysis you need in order to correctly structure your spreadsheet. In this case, we’re making a spreadsheet that can track worldwide sales of different products with different prices and profitability. Since you have multiple products, you’ll need a reference table of pricing, cost, and profit. Then you’ll need a table where you can record every sale, including how many of each product the sale included, and the total profit from those sales. You also need to include calculations that remove different countries’ tax rates from your cost-based profit margin.    To help plan out things like this for your own situation, consider analytical goals. In this case, what information would a company selling products worldwide want to gain from a spreadsheet?

  • Which product sold the most units?
  • Which country netted the greatest profit?
  • Which country had the greatest quantity of items sold?
  • What was the total profit from sales worldwide?

  Step 3: Create a Reference Table

work sheet excel

A. Start by naming your spreadsheet. It’s best to be descriptive and unique, so you can easily search for it later with Google Drive’s search tool.

B. Create names for each column of the reference table. We’ll use Product, Price/Unit, Cost/Unit , and Profit/Unit .

C. The products will be A, B, and C. Add those letters to the cells A2, A3, and AC, respectively. They have variable prices, but all cost the same to produce, so each will have a different profit margin. To create this, click cell D2. Enter “=B2-C2” in the formula bar to calculate the profit of each unit. Then click the bottom right corner of the cell and drag it down to D4 to duplicate the formula for rows 3 and 4. Now you have the profit margin calculation for each product.

D. Finally, to keep it easy to view, apply some styling to the table. Just highlight the whole range of cells, then click the Format menu. From the drop-down, select Alternating Colors , which opens the sidebar menu where you can apply table styles. Select a preset that makes the header distinct. Click the X in the top right corner of the Alternating Colors sidebar to close it.

E. Enter amounts for Price/Unit and Cost/Unit.

  Step 4: Create a Sales Tracker Layout

work sheet excel

Let’s start laying out the sales tracker table. A company will likely track orders by the order in which they arrive, so click cell A7 and type “Sales ID.” Add order numbers to cells A8 through A17 under the Sales ID header. It’s also important to know how many of each product were sold, so make the next three columns product quantities for A, B, and C. To do this, type “Quantity of A” in cell 7B, “Quantity of B” in cell 7C, “Quantity of C” in cell 7D. Obviously, the company wants to know the profit from this individual sale, so type “Profit from Sale” in cell 7E. 

The country of the buyer is also important for our analysis because for a real company that would affect the cost of doing business in the form of taxes, which would also reduce the final profit. You’ll need dedicated columns to track this information, so type “Customer country” in cell 7F, “Income Tax” in cell 7G, and “Final Profit” in cell 7H. 

Also note that after entering our column headers, column F wasn’t wide enough for Customer Country , so click on the right vertical line of cell F7 and drag the border to increase that column’s width.   Step 5: Create a Profit Formula

work sheet excel

This is one of the more complicated formulas in this article. To calculate the base profit from each sale, we have to multiply each product quantity by that product’s profit margin per unit, and add them all together. Click cell 7E and insert this initial formula: “=(B8*D2)+(C8*D3)+(D8*D4).” We include the parenthesis to maintain the order of operation in the formula. However, there’s a problem.   If you drag that formula down to duplicate it for each sale, it will change the relative location of both the reference cell and its multiplier. For example, dragging it down one cell would result in the formula “=(B9*D3)+(C9*D4)+(D9*D5),” which would mean we’re not taking the same profit margin cells and multiplying them by new quantity levels. To fix this problem, you add “$” to the front of each part of the cell coordinate you want to remain constant. The final result will look like this: “=(B8*$D$2)+(C8*$D$3)+(D8*$D$4).”    Now, when you drag the lower right corner of the cell down through all 10 orders, they will all reference the correct profit margin cells in the reference table. Don’t forget to highlight E8 through E18 and click the $ button on the toolbar. This will place everything into “$0.00” form.   Step 6: Calculate a Final Profit and Column Totals

work sheet excel

The Final Profit column needs to reflect profit after the customer’s country’s trade taxes. For starters, type “=E8*(1-G8)”. The reason for this is that the Income Tax column will be represented as percentages, where 1 = 100%. Therefore, to subtract the tax rate from the profit, the profit needs to be multiplied by the percentage left over, not the percentage taken out. 

Format the Income Tax column by highlighting the cells and clicking the % button on the toolbar. Add the currency format to the Final Profit column by highlighting it’s cells and clicking the $ format button.    Now, use the basic AutoSum formula to place totals counts for each of the quantity columns, for the Profit from Sale column, and the Final Profit column. Highlight B8 through B17, then click the Formula button on the toolbar, and click SUM . The total sum will appear in B18. Now drag this cell’s formula to C18 and D18, then copy and paste it into H18.    Step 7: Add Styling

work sheet excel

Add styling to your table to help make it more readable. Click and highlight all the cells in the table (excluding the totals). Then click the Format menu and click Alternating Colors in the drop-down menu. Then click a Formatting Style from the sidebar to apply a style to your table. Click the blue Done button.   Next, click and highlight the cells containing totals totals, and click the Fill Color icon on the toolbar and choose a color. Quantity totals might have the same color as the product reference table above. Totals relating to money might be green. Adding color elements to help with quick visual reference is a plus.    Step 8: Enter Data 

work sheet excel

Now enter data for all your table’s quantities sold for every product in every sale, and the  buyer’s country. Feel free to use the data in the screenshot above. You’ll notice all the calculations are done automatically.   Step 9: Sort by Country

work sheet excel

Let’s learn about sorting. To create a table for map data, we have to have totals by country. It’ll be easier to gather this data if we sort it by that criteria. You want to be sure when sorting that you don’t cause any rows to become disassembled - data has to remain together to be useful.   Select A7 through H17 (this is the entire table except the totals). Now open the Data menu, click Sort range , and then tick the Data has header row box. (It won’t rearrange the headers, just everything underneath them.) Then choose the column Customer Country from the sort by menu, going from A to Z. Now your data is arranged by country.   

work sheet excel

Now use the same steps described above to create a table with just the Customer Country and the Final Profit as headers. Each country only gets one cell, and the Final Profit is the added profit from that country using the formula “=SUM(start cell : end cell).” For the USA, click on cell K12 and type the formula  “=SUM(H15:H217).” You’ll need to add each formula manually. You can add styling to it too, if you like.    Step 10: Analyze Data with Explore   Now that you have your data represented to answer all your questions, it’s time to start analyzing them. It’s important to remember that on a real sales sheet, you would likely have 100s of 1000s of sales, not 10, so computer-assisted analysis would be truly beneficial.   

  Click the Explore icon in the bottom right corner of your screen to open the Explore sidebar. As you can see from the gif, there are countless ways to analyze the data by selecting one table or another, and exploring the auto-created charts and graphs available. You can also highlight all the cells in a table and click Chart. Now you have a working sales tracker with helpful data analysis ready to go.    Here’s a complete list of keyboard shortcuts in Google Sheets.

How to Make a Spreadsheet in Smartsheet: Step-by-Step Guide

This section will cover all the basics you need to know about working with Smartsheet, a spreadsheet-inspired work and process automation platform that you can use to create powerful, collaborative spreadsheets. It’s a cloud-based application, so you never have to download anything, and it can be updated from any computer or smartphone and stays synced across devices. It is available on any platform with a web browser and you can share spreadsheets with anyone. 

Unique Features of Smartsheet

Smartsheet has many, though not all, of the functions that Excel has in a real-time collaborative environment. What makes Smartsheet unique is that spreadsheets, known as Grid View , are only the underlying basis for the app’s capabilities. With Smartsheet you can assign unique properties to each column that affect its behavior in different view-types. For example, if you have a Date column, you can view your data in Calendar View , where each row becomes an item on a calendar. If you give each row a Start Date and End Date column, you can use Gantt View to see where timelines overlap from item to item. If you give your rows a Dropdown List column, you can use Card View to see items as cards that you can drag and drop from one section to another, to denote category or status.

One other major unique feature of Smartsheet is that not everyone needs to purchase the app in order to access it. One paid user can invite internal and external collaborators to a sheet, who can all collaborate on the sheet in real time. 

How to Create a Project Tracker Spreadsheet in Smartsheet

You can practice making your own project tracker spreadsheet from scratch in Smartsheet. This guide will cover basics and many of the app’s unique features to quickly produce a powerful, collaborative spreadsheet.

 Step 1: Create a New Sheet and Name It 

On the homepage of Smartsheet, Click Create and choose Grid to get started.

Create New Project

 In the popup window, name your sheet “New Project Sheet.” 

Name New Project Sheet

 Step 2: Name Your Primary Column and Enter Data 

Start by changing the name of your Primary Column to “Task Name.” Click the cell with the words Primary Column to rename it in the pop-up window that appears on the screen. Click the blue OK button.

Add Task Name Column

Enter a couple tasks in the column related to whatever you like.

Add Project Tasks

Step 3: Create a Contact List Column

 Now change the name of Column2 to “Assigned To.” Click the cell with the words Column2 to rename it in the pop-up window that appears on the screen. Then, click the column property Contact List . Click OK . 

Add Assigned to Column

Now you can start typing here in each row of this column, and Smartsheet will autofill names from your contacts to assign tasks to them.

Step 4: Create Start and End Date Columns 

Click on the Column3 and Column4 cell to rename them “Start” and “Due,” respectively. Change both their column properties to Date. This will allow you to use both Calendar View and Gantt View , which are useful views when managing large spreadsheets or project data. 

Add Start Due Date Column

  Step 5: Create a Drop Down List Column 

Change the name of Column5 to “Stage,” and give it the Dropdown List property. Dropdown List lets you choose a few different options for collaborators to select. It also allows you to use Card View to organize information from grid view by task status (or another criteria of your choosing). You can select either Single Select or Multi-Select options, meaning users can either select only one option, or multiple options, respectively.

For this sheet, select Single Select , and make your status options “Not Started,” “In Progress,” “In Review,” and “Complete.” 

Add Stage Column

Step 6: Create a Symbols Column 

Change the name of Column6 to “Status,” and give it the Symbols column property. This is like a dropdown list, but uses different symbols to represent information about your row, at a glance. In this case, use the RYG balls, which are colored either Red, Yellow, or Green. Red means “late,” yellow means “almost late,” and green means “on time.” 

Add Status Column

Step 7: Look at Gantt View 

Now you have a working project management sheet that’s easy to collaborate on and view multiple ways. Once you enter dates for each task in the Start and Due columns, select Gantt View from the top navigation bar, and to see how your tasks overlap based on start and end dates. 

Gantt View Smartsheet

Step 8: Look at Card View 

With Card View , you can view all of your task rows by Stage , because Stage is a criteria in your Dropdown List. This is a quick visual way to see how many tasks are outstanding, and where work is getting stuck. When you change from Not Started to In Progress , you can just click the card, and drag it over to the next column. When you go back to Grid View , the status change will be reflected there, too.

Card View Smartsheet

Step 9: Look at Calendar View 

When you go to Calendar View with multiple date columns, it asks how you want to handle them. Click Display Date Ranges Using and set Start as the start date, and Due as the end date. Now you can view the stretch of time you’re supposed to work on each task. 

Calendar View Smartsheet

 Just like that, you have a basic, flexible project management sheet ready to go. There’s a lot more you can do with Smartsheet, including adding traditional formulas, but this example demonstrates many of its unique features.

Spreadsheet Use Cases and Templates

Now you know how to build a spreadsheet from scratch in Excel, Word, Google Sheets, and Smartsheet. However, all of these programs also have pre-built, use case-specific templates that will save you time. Here are a few popular templates for each of these programs, so you can start organizing and calculating anything you want.   Budget Templates

  • Monthly Budget for Google Sheets
  • Expense Report for Google Sheets
  • Balance Sheet for Smartsheet

  Scheduling Templates

  • Calendar Template in Google Sheets
  • Weekly Schedule in Microsoft Excel
  • To Do List in Microsoft Excel

  Work and Employee Management Templates

  • Employee Timesheet in Microsoft Excel
  • Work Schedule Template in Smartsheet
  • Project Management Template in Smartsheet

  These are just a sampling of the many personal, industry-specific, or project-specific templates that these programs have to offer. 

Create a More Powerful, Collaborative Spreadsheet in Smartsheet

Empower your people to go above and beyond with a flexible platform designed to match the needs of your team — and adapt as those needs change. 

The Smartsheet platform makes it easy to plan, capture, manage, and report on work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and get more done. Report on key metrics and get real-time visibility into work as it happens with roll-up reports, dashboards, and automated workflows built to keep your team connected and informed. 

When teams have clarity into the work getting done, there’s no telling how much more they can accomplish in the same amount of time.  Try Smartsheet for free, today.

Discover why over 90% of Fortune 100 companies trust Smartsheet to get work done.

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Lesson 1 of 36 By Ravikiran A S

Your One-Stop Solution to Know About Excel Worksheets

Table of Contents

Microsoft Excel is a software product designed and developed to store, organize and manipulate structured data. Excel Worksheet plays a vital role in offering multiple functionalities to ease the tedious process of managing data.

What is an Excel Worksheet?

An Excel worksheet is a software program/document that collects rows and columns designed to store information in an organized manner. An Excel worksheet also enables users to apply mathematical and statistical logic to the data and manipulate it according to the requirements of the business strategies.

So, this was a brief introduction to Excel Worksheet. In the next section, you will learn how to create a new Excel Worksheet.

Become The Highest-Paid Business Analysis Expert

Become The Highest-Paid Business Analysis Expert

How to Create an Excel Worksheet?

To create a new Excel worksheet, you need to follow the steps mentioned below.

By default, when you start Microsoft Excel, there is an option of selecting a variety of worksheets, as shown below.

Excel-Worksheet-Default-home.

You can select the option based on the requirements. For now, create a blank worksheet. The blank worksheet looks as shown below.

Excel-Worksheet-blank-worksheet

Insert a New Excel Worksheet

There might be a situation where you would need to include another worksheet along the side of the existing worksheet. This collection of Excel Worksheets is called an Excel Workbook. To insert a new worksheet, you can right-click on the sheet name in the bottom sheet tracker tray, as shown below.

Excel-Worksheet-right-click-insert

By selecting the new worksheet option from the available options, you can create a new worksheet as displayed below.

Excel-Worksheet-right-click-insert-new-worksheet.

A new dialogue box will appear on the screen, where you can select the option to include a new sheet.

In the next part, you will learn how to rename a worksheet.

Rename Excel Worksheet

You can rename the Excel Worksheet by right-clicking on the sheet name and selecting the rename option from the dialogue box as shown below.

Excel-Worksheet-right-click-rename.

In the next segment, you will learn how to delete a worksheet.

Delete Excel Worksheet

If you wish to eliminate the Excel Worksheet, you must right-click onto the worksheet tab and select the delete option from the dialogue box as shown below.

Excel-Worksheet-right-click-delete

Worksheets in Excel can also be hidden. Now, you will see how that can be done.

Future-Proof Your AI/ML Career: Top Dos and Don'ts

Future-Proof Your AI/ML Career: Top Dos and Don'ts

Hide Excel Worksheet

Sometimes, you might have to keep a particular worksheet hidden. You can achieve this by right-clicking the worksheet name on the worksheet tray and selecting the hide option from the dialogue box, as shown below.

Excel-Worksheet-right-click-hide.

If you want to unhide the hidden worksheet, you can right-click on the existing worksheet and choose the option of Unhide, as shown below.

Excel-Worksheet-right-click-unhide-dialog-box

The following dialogue box will show the list of hidden sheets, and you can choose the sheet you wish to unhide, as shown below.

Excel-Worksheet-right-click-unhide.

In the next part, you will learn to move or copy an Excel Worksheet

Move or Copy an Excel Worksheet

To move or copy an excel worksheet, you must right-click on the sheet name you wish to move or copy and select the option of copy or move option from the dialogue box as shown below.

right-click-move-or-copy.

After selecting the option, you will find a new dialogue box, as shown below.

right-click-move-or-copy-menu-box

The first step is to select the workbook where you want to copy or move the current worksheet. It can be the current workbook or a different workbook, as shown below.

-click-move-or-copy-workbook-selection-box.

The next step is to select if you want to move (cut and paste) the worksheet or copy the worksheet. If you wish to copy the sheet, then make sure you select the tick option as shown below.

Excel-Worksheet-right-click-copy-tick-box

If you wish to move the worksheet to a new workbook, then select the new workbook option in the first menu and do not select the tick in the last option that reads "make a copy".

In the upcoming part, you will learn to protect the cells in the excel worksheet.

Protect Cells in Excel Worksheet

To protect the cells in the Excel Worksheet, you should right-click on the sheet and select the safeguard cells option on the dialogue box, as shown below.

Excel-Worksheet-right-click-Protect-cells

The following dialogue box will help you select the contents on the sheet with a password, as shown below. 

Excel-Worksheet-right-click-Protect-cells-dialog-box.

With this, you have come to an end of this "Excel Worksheet" article. 

" UserForms in Excel " can be your next stop. Generating a user form in excel will help you simplify the process to insert, delete, and manipulate data in Excel Worksheet.

Are you looking to go deeper with your Microsoft Excel learning Perhaps you are interested in furthering your career in Business Analytics?

If the answer is yes to either or both the above questions, the  Business Analytics certification course offered by Simplilearn is something you should definitely explore. This applied training program is designed to help you grasp the basic concepts of data analysis and statistics which can help you devise insights from the data available to present the findings as visualizations with the help of executive-level dashboards. You will learn all this and more in our cutting-edge program. Take a look and enroll now.

Have you got any questions for us on this Excel Worksheet tutorial? If yes, do feel free to share them in the comments section below. Our subject matter experts will resolve them for you as soon as possible.

1. What is an Excel worksheet?

You can sort and analyze raw data on excel. It is a collection of rows and columns. Each worksheet has 1048576 rows and 16384 columns. 

2. What are the basic Excel functions? 

Most basic and essential Excel functions are as follows: 

1. =IF(logical test, value if true, value if false)

=SUMIFS(sum range, criteria range 1, criteria 1, …)

3. COUNTIFS

=COUNTIFS(criteria range 1, criteria 1, …)

=TRIM(text)

5. CONCATENATE

=CONCATENATE(text1, text2, text3, …)

6. LEFT/RIGHT

=LEFT(text, num chars)

=RIGHT(text, num chars)

=VLOOKUP(lookup value, table array, column index number, range lookup)

=IFERROR(VLOOKUP(B2,$G$2:$H$12,2,FALSE),"Name not found. Check both lists")

=VALUE(text)

10. UNIQUE 

=UNIQUE(array, by col, exactly once)

3. How many worksheets are there in Excel?

In one workbook you can add 255 separate sheets. 

4. What are Excel files called?

Excel has worksheets or spreadsheets where we usually work.These worksheets are stored in a workbook. One book can have multiple worksheets in it.

5. What are the shortcut keys for Excel?

Some common shortcut keys for excel are as follows: 

  • Close a workbook - Ctrl+W
  • Open a workbook - Ctrl+O
  • Go to the Home tab - Alt+H
  • Save a workbook - Ctrl+S
  • Copy selection - Ctrl+C
  • Paste selection - Ctrl+V 
  • Undo recent action - Ctrl+Z 
  • Remove cell contents - Delete 
  • Choose a fill color - Alt+H, H 
  • Cut selection - Ctrl+X 
  • Go to the Insert tab - Alt+N 
  • Apply bold formatting - Ctrl+B 
  • Center align cell contents - Alt+H, A, C 
  • Go to the Page Layout tab - Alt+P 
  • Go to the Data tab - Alt+A

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About the author.

Ravikiran A S

Ravikiran A S works with Simplilearn as a Research Analyst. He an enthusiastic geek always in the hunt to learn the latest technologies. He is proficient with Java Programming Language, Big Data, and powerful Big Data Frameworks like Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark.

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Worksheet vs Workbook in Microsoft Excel: Key Differences

When working with Excel, it’s essential to understand the difference between worksheets and workbooks.

A worksheet is a single page in Excel where you can enter data and perform calculations. Worksheets are the building blocks of your Excel workbook files, allowing you to organize and manipulate data.

On the other hand, a workbook is an Excel file that contains one or more worksheets. Workbooks serve as a container for your individual worksheets.

This post will take a closer look at the key differences between worksheets and workbooks in Excel.

Worksheets in Excel

What is an excel worksheet.

work sheet excel

An Excel worksheet, also known as a sheet or tab, is a single page in an Excel workbook where you can input, store, and organize data. Each worksheet consists of a grid of cells, organized into rows and columns, which can store a variety of data types such as text, numbers, dates, and more.

Purpose and Use of an Excel Worksheet

The primary purpose of an Excel worksheet is to store and manipulate data. You can perform operations on the data in cells using formulas. Excel allows you to format cells, rows, and columns to visually present your data.

Some common uses of an Excel worksheet include these.

  • Organizing and analyzing datasets.
  • Creating data visualizations such as charts.
  • Generating reports and summaries.
  • Performing calculations.

How to Create a New Excel Worksheet?

work sheet excel

Follow these steps to create a new Excel worksheet.

  • Open the Excel file in which you want to add a new worksheet.
  • Click on the plus icon + located at the bottom of the workbook, to the right of the existing worksheet tabs.

That’s it! Now you have a new Excel worksheet where you can input and organize your data using cells, rows, columns, formatting, formulas, and functions.

💡 Tip : You can also use the Shift + F11 keyboard shortcut to insert a new worksheet.

Workbooks in Excel

What is an excel workbook.

An Excel Workbook is a file created in Microsoft Excel that contains a collection of one or more worksheets.

An Excel workbook file can be saved with a variety of file formats such as the following.

  • xls for Excel workbooks compatible with Excel 2003 and before.
  • xlsx for Excel workbooks compatible with Excel 2007 and later.
  • xlsm for macro enabled workbooks.
  • xlsb for Excel files saved in binary format.

Purpose and use of an Excel Workbook

The main purpose of an Excel workbook is to organize and manage related data and calculations.

Workbooks also allow for easy sharing and collaboration with other users through email, OneDrive, and SharePoint cloud storage platforms.

How to Create a New Workbook?

work sheet excel

Follow these steps to create a blank workbook in Excel.

  • Open the Excel application.
  • Click on the File tab from the top-left corner.

work sheet excel

  • Choose the New option.
  • Select the Blank Workbook option.

This will create a new Excel workbook with a single sheet named Sheet1 . Remember that you can add more worksheets to your workbook as needed at any time.

💡 Tip : You can also use the Ctrl + N keyboard shortcut to create a new blank workbook.

Worksheets vs Workbooks

Comparison of excel worksheet and workbooks.

A worksheet refers to a single page within an Excel file. Each worksheet has its own tab at the bottom of the Excel window, allowing you to switch between different sheets in the workbook.

Whereas, a workbook is an Excel file that acts as a container to hold all your related Excel worksheets.

Practical Examples of Using Worksheets and Workbooks

Suppose you’re working on a project that requires multiple sets of data. For example, you might be tracking the budget, project timeline, and resource allocation.

Instead of creating three separate Excel files, you can create a single workbook and then create separate worksheets within that workbook for each data set.

This way, you can easily reference and analyze the data from one sheet to another without juggling several files.

Common Misconceptions about Worksheets and Workbooks

Sometimes people use the terms worksheet and workbook interchangeably, but it’s important to clarify their distinct meanings.

A worksheet is a single page within a workbook. Whereas the workbook is the entire Excel file containing one or more worksheets.

Understanding this distinction is vital to avoid confusion when discussing your Excel work with others.

Conclusions

You should now understand the difference between worksheets and workbooks in Excel.

A workbook is a file that contains one or more worksheets. In contrast, a worksheet is a single tab within the workbook.

Hopefully, this knowledge will help you navigate the difference between an Excel worksheet and an Excel workbook more easily!

About the Author

John MacDougall

John MacDougall

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Jim Shy

Great explanation – Wish I had known about the ability to duplicate a worksheet with the simple “Click on the worksheet tab, hold the control key down and drag to the right. I wasted a lot of time creating a new worksheet, copy and paste the original worksheet contents to the new worksheet – for each of the 12 months in a year. ☺

John MacDougall

Yes, it’s a super handy shortcut and works for just about everything you can click and drag to make a copy such as data, tables, charts, pictures, etc…

Philip

Probably a detail that goes too far … but “Sheets” and “Worksheets” are not the same. “Worksheets” is a subset of “Sheets”, since there can also be charts on their own Sheet, or in older versions Macro Sheets also had their own tab …

Ah, yes good point. You can still create Chart Sheets and Macro Sheets in newer versions of Excel.

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Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference?

And which one is right for you?

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Knowing Excel is a valuable skill. But the tool is not always easy to use and can be frustrating if you don’t fully understand the features. That’s often the case with Excel worksheets vs. workbooks because they’re terms that you can easily confuse. In fact, this confusion leads to some people referring to worksheets as spreadsheets. Workbooks and worksheets are created and managed differently, so it’s essential to know the difference between them.

In this Excel tutorial, you’ll learn what is the difference between a worksheet and a workbook. You will also learn how to manipulate worksheets and move them from one workbook to another. Also, if you want to become a power user, make sure to check out our 40 best Excel keyboard shortcuts and macros to speed up your workflow.

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 1

What’s the Difference Between Worksheets and Workbooks?

Imagine a workbook as a regular paper book; it’s a collection of pages. An Excel worksheet is just a single page, or one sheet of the many pages that are in the book. That means that an Excel workbook is a collection of worksheets but it can also contain a single worksheet. How many worksheets can you put in one workbook? Microsoft says that it depends on your computer’s hardware. You can have any number of worksheets in a workbook, as long as your device allows it.

When you first open Excel, the software will present you with a workbook with three empty Excel sheets. You can see them in the bottom left corner of the screen as separate tabs named Sheet1, Sheet2, and Sheet3. You may need to use just one of these three, but you don’t need to delete the ones you are not using.

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 2

Excel worksheets are made of rows, columns, and cells in which you can input data such as dates, text, numbers, and Excel formulas and functions . The data you enter in the worksheet cells, rows, and columns can also be displayed in graphs and charts .

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 3

You can save Excel workbooks on your device with the file extension xlsx. However, the older version of the software used the xls extension so don’t be surprised if you see this instead of xlsx. Don’t worry, any new version of Excel can open both types of file extensions.

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 4

Grouping worksheets in a workbook is handy. You would want to keep worksheets that contain closely related data in one place. Workbooks are convenient if you are linking data from one worksheet to another. Workbooks are just like folders that keep different but related files together. However, hopping from one worksheet to another can be very confusing, and this is why you should learn how to manage them properly.

How to View, Rename, Insert, and Delete a Worksheet

The default names Excel gives to worksheets are not very descriptive. There is not much information in Sheet1, Sheet2, and Sheet3. So you should first learn the basics about worksheets.

Viewing Worksheets

All you have to do to view a single spreadsheet is to click on its tab. But if you are working with many sheets with longer names, Excel won’t be able to display all the sheet tabs. In that case, you can use the arrows to the left of the tabs. These arrows will help you navigate left or right. You can also right-click on said arrows and a list of all the tabs will be displayed. Then you can just click on the desired worksheet.

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 5

Renaming a Worksheet

Renaming a worksheet is easy. Just right-click on the tab and a context menu will open. Choose Rename and type in the new name. You can also double-click the tab you want to rename and type the new name.

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 6

Inserting a New Worksheet

Did you notice a small tab with a file icon next to the worksheet tabs? Click on it and a new worksheet will appear to the right of the last one. This is the fastest and easiest way to open a new worksheet.

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 7

Another way to insert a new worksheet is to select the tab to the right of where you want to insert a new one, then right-click and select Insert .

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 8

A new pop-up window will open. Select the worksheet and click OK .

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 9

Deleting a Worksheet

Deleting worksheets is simple. Right-click on the tab of the worksheet. A context menu will appear and simply click Delete .

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 10

How to Move Worksheets

Working with Excel can be complex and you will need to move different worksheets between the workbooks or place your worksheets in a different order. Here is how you can do it.

Moving a Worksheet in the Same Workbook

To move the worksheet from one position to another, right-click on its tab to open the context menu, and select Move or Copy . A new window will appear and you need to click on the name of the spreadsheet that will go after the selected worksheet, and click OK .

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 11

The easiest way to move the worksheet to a different place within the same workbook is to hold left-click on its tab, and then simply drag it to the spot where you want it to be. There will be a little black arrow indicating the spot where you can drop off the worksheet. Release the mouse button when you are in the desired position.

Moving a Worksheet to a New Workbook

To move a worksheet to a completely new workbook, right-click on its tab and select Move or Copy . When a new window appears, open the drop-down menu under the To Book title, and select (New Book) .

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 12

When you move a spreadsheet to a new workbook, Excel will remove it from the existing one and automatically open a new workbook that will contain the worksheet.

Moving a Worksheet to a Different Workbook

Open the source workbook that contains the worksheet you wish to move. You will also have to open the workbook to which you will move the desired worksheet. Keep them open at the same time. Right-click on the worksheet’s tab and select Move or Copy . Under the “To Book” drop-down menu find the name of the targeted workbook and select it. Press OK to confirm.

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 13

How to Copy a Worksheet

Sometimes you will need to make copies of an already existing worksheet. It is easier to make small modifications that way, especially if you will be using the same formatting or formulas. The process is very similar to moving a worksheet.

Copying a Worksheet in the Same Workbook

To copy a worksheet in the same workbook right-click its tab and go to Move or Copy . Once a new window opens, check the Create a copy box. You will have to select the name of the worksheet in front of which you want to put the copy. Then click OK to confirm.

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 14

Copying a Worksheet in a New Workbook

If you want to copy a worksheet in a new workbook you will again have to go to Move or Copy in the context menu and check the Create a copy box. Under “To Book” click the drop-down menu and select (new book) . Excel will create a new workbook containing the copied worksheet.

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 15

Copying a Worksheet in a Different Workbook

Open both the source and target workbooks if you need to copy a worksheet into a different workbook. Right-click on the tab of the worksheet you want to move and go to Move or Copy . When a new dialogue box opens, check the Create a copy box. Open the drop-down menu under To Book , and select the name of the target workbook. Press the OK button to confirm.

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 16

How to Open an Excel File in Google Sheets

Not everyone likes to use Microsoft Excel. Google Sheets is its most popular alternative. If your colleague sends you an Excel file, you can open it in Google Sheets without a problem. Simply open a blank Google Sheet and go to the File tab and select Open . In the Open File menu find and click the Upload tab. Hold the left-click on the excel file and drag it into the space.

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 17

You can also click on Browse in the middle of the screen, and from there navigate to the Excel sheet you want to import into Google Sheets. Select the file you want and click Open .

How to Open a CSV File in MS Excel

CSV files are simple text files that contain information and data separated by commas. It is used to transfer data, such as spreadsheet content, between different applications that typically cannot directly communicate. Such apps are, for example, MS Excel and Google Sheets, or Microsoft Word. If you receive a CSV file, here is how you can use Excel to open it.

1. Open the Excel spreadsheet to which you want to save the data contained in the CSV file. Click on the Data tab and find the Get External Data group. Select From Text .

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 18

2. Select the CSV file you want to open in Excel and click Import . In a new window that pops open click Delimited and then Next .

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 19

3. In a new window, under Delimiters , check the Comma box and then Next .

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 20

4. Another window will open, select General under the Column data format , and click on Finish .

Microsoft Excel Workbooks and Worksheets: What’s the Difference? image 21

The Difference Between Workbooks and Worksheets

Knowing the difference between workbooks and worksheets will help you quickly navigate the two, and manage them easily. Worksheets are the core of MS Excel, and you can have multiple worksheets in one workbook. Editing and manipulating data is possible only in worksheets and not in workbooks. It is also interesting to know that the amount of data in a worksheet is limited by the number of columns, rows, and cells. The amount of data in a workbook is not limited at all.

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Worksheets in Excel

A spreadsheet is a grid-based file that organizes data and performs calculations using scalable entries. These are used all over the world to create tables for personal and business purposes. It contains rows and columns of cells and can be used to organize, calculate, and sort data. Spreadsheet data can include text, formulas, references, and functions, as well as numeric values.

A spreadsheet has evolved over the years from a simple grid to a powerful tool that functions as a database or app, performing numerous calculations on one sheet. Using a spreadsheet, you can figure out your mortgage payments over time or determine how depreciation affects your business’s taxes. You can also merge data between several sheets and then visualize it in color-coded tables for better understanding. It can be intimidating for new users to use a spreadsheet program because of all the new features. 

A worksheet is a collection of cells(It is a basic data unit in the worksheet), where you can store and manipulate data. By default, every workbook contains at least one worksheet in it. It is easier to organize and locate information in your workbook by using multiple worksheets when working with many data. Adding information to multiple worksheets simultaneously is also easily accomplished by grouping worksheets. In Excel, worksheets can easily be added, renamed, and deleted. Spreadsheet applications like Microsoft Excel are fantastic for maintaining long data lists, budgets, sales figures, etc. A worksheet contains 1 048576 rows, 16384 columns, and 17,179,869,184 cells per worksheet.

When the Excel program is opened for the first time, the user sees three blank worksheets in the workbook. The screenshot below shows the first worksheet with three tabs at the bottom left corner named Sheet1, Sheet2, and Sheet3. If a workbook contains many worksheets, arrows will also make it easier to view the worksheet tabs.

work sheet excel

It is not necessary to delete the two unused worksheets if you’re only using one worksheet – most people don’t bother. Newer versions of Excel save workbooks as xlsx files. Older versions xls extension. 

Can we have more than one Excel worksheet in one workbook? According to Microsoft, it’s limited by the number of memory slots on your computer. This is useful if you’re linking data from one worksheet to another, and especially if you’re grouping worksheets that are extremely closely related. However, using the worksheet tabs back and forth can become confusing.

Characteristics of a good worksheet

  • An appealing worksheet should have specific titles that indicate what it is about as well as pictures or other clipart to draw some attention.
  • It is important that the paper and the writing are in good contrast so that eye strain is minimized.
  • Users should be able to do the worksheet independently by following the directions with examples.
  • Despite the fact that the worksheet needs to illuminate a pattern in problem solving or usage, it shouldn’t grind an idea into dust.
  • Once the worksheet has been completed, the user should be able to explain how it was formed or what it was meant to teach: the answer to this question should be linked to the worksheet’s title.

View a Worksheet

To view a worksheet, click on a worksheet’s tab to view it. Worksheet names and/or many worksheet tabs may not allow the workbook window to display all tabs, so use the arrows on the left of each tab to navigate left or right, or right-click on any arrow and select the worksheet to show from the list.

work sheet excel

Click on worksheet to view a worksheet

Rename a Worksheet

To rename a worksheet, follow the following steps:

Step 1: Right-click on the current tab you will get a list. 

work sheet excel

Step 2: Now in this list select Rename option and then typing a new name. 

work sheet excel

You can also rename the worksheet by double-clicking on the tab.

Insert a Worksheet

One of the fastest ways to insert a worksheet in a workbook is to click on the small tab to the right of the last worksheet tab. The worksheet can then be moved to a different position if necessary.

work sheet excel

Alternative Method to insert a Worksheet

As an alternative, you can add a new worksheet left of an existing worksheet by using the following steps:

Step 1:  Right-click on the tab of the existing worksheet that is just to the right of where you want the new worksheet to be placed. Whenever a spreadsheet is inserted into a worksheet, Excel inserts it to the left.

work sheet excel

Step 2: A dialogue box open, here select worksheet.

work sheet excel

Step 3: Press OK and your new worksheet is add on the left of the current worksheet.

work sheet excel

So this is how you can insert new worksheet.

Delete a Worksheet

To delete a worksheet, follow the following steps:

Step 1: Right-click on the current tab(or the tab that your want to delete) you will get a list. 

work sheet excel

Step 2: Now in this list select the Delete option and your list will be deleted.

work sheet excel

So this is how you can delete worksheets. 

Now, let’s take a working example. Here, I am creating a lesson plan for c++ subject:

work sheet excel

Now if I want to teach more than 1 subject then I need to include or insert one more worksheet and for inserting a new worksheet click on the small tab to the right of the last worksheet tab.

work sheet excel

Now, if we want to rename that file then we can rename the spreadsheet tab by right-clicking it, selecting Rename option from the context menu, and then typing a new name. Here, I rename that sheet1 with 16MCS22CLAB.

work sheet excel

Now, if I want to view the 16MCS22C2 worksheet then click on a worksheet’s tab to view it.

work sheet excel

Now, after some time I don’t need the 16MCS22CLAB file. So, to delete that file and for deleting a file, select the Delete option from the context menu by right-clicking the worksheet tab.

work sheet excel

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Worksheet object (Excel)

  • 9 contributors

Represents a worksheet.

The Worksheet object is a member of the Worksheets collection. The Worksheets collection contains all the Worksheet objects in a workbook.

The Worksheet object is also a member of the Sheets collection. The Sheets collection contains all the sheets in the workbook (both chart sheets and worksheets).

Use Worksheets ( index ), where index is the worksheet index number or name, to return a single Worksheet object. The following example hides worksheet one in the active workbook.

The worksheet index number denotes the position of the worksheet on the workbook's tab bar. Worksheets(1) is the first (leftmost) worksheet in the workbook, and Worksheets(Worksheets.Count) is the last one. All worksheets are included in the index count, even if they are hidden.

The worksheet name is shown on the tab for the worksheet. Use the Name property to set or return the worksheet name. The following example protects the scenarios on Sheet1.

When a worksheet is the active sheet, you can use the ActiveSheet property to refer to it. The following example uses the Activate method to activate Sheet1, sets the page orientation to landscape mode, and then prints the worksheet.

This example uses the BeforeDoubleClick event to open a specified set of files in Notepad. To use this example, your worksheet must contain the following data:

  • Cell A1 must contain the names of the files to open, each separated by a comma and a space.
  • Cell D1 must contain the path to where the Notepad files are located.
  • Cell D2 must contain the path to where the Notepad program is located.
  • Cell D3 must contain the file extension, without the period, for the Notepad files (txt).

When you double-click cell A1, the files specified in cell A1 are opened in Notepad.

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work sheet excel

How To Set Print Area in Excel: An Easy 2024 Guide

  • Last updated February 20, 2024

Fact Checked By Cindy Wong

Knowing how to set print area in Excel is essential for many offices. It allows you to select specific cell ranges to print, which improves readability, reduces paper waste, helps customize the print, and maintains consistent formatting.

In short, you have to navigate to “ Page Layout ” > “ Page Setup ” > “ Print Area ” > “ Set Print Area .”

In this article, I’ll show you how to set the print area for Microsoft Excel . I’ll also walk you through the issues with setting the print area in Excel and how you can navigate them.

Table of Contents

What Is the Print Area in Excel

Print area Excel defines the cell range to be included in a printout. Clicking the “ Print ” button or pressing the Ctrl key + P  keyboard shortcut lets you print an entire spreadsheet. However, setting the click print area in Excel will only allow you to include the selected area instead of the entire workbook.

You can select multiple print areas in a single spreadsheet using the Excel print settings, and every selected area will be printed on a new page. Defining print area Excel gives you more control over the look of every printed page, and I always recommend users select print area in Excel before printing a spreadsheet.

If you do not specify the print range of Excel, it might lead to messy pages, which can be hard to read. This can also cause essential data to be cut off, impacting the quality of your spreadsheet, so make sure you specify your data range.

Related Reading: Set the Print Area in Google Sheets

How To Set Print Area in Excel

Luckily, learning how to set print areas in Excel is easy. Follow the steps below to set the print area so only the selected cells will print in Excel instead of the entire worksheet:

How to set print area in Excel GIF

  • Open the spreadsheet where you want to adjust the print area in Excel.
  • Drag your mouse cursor and select the cell range where you wish to set the print area.
  • Click the “ Page Layout ” tab in the main top ribbon.
  • Click “ Print Area ” in the Page Setup  group.
  • In the dropdown menu that shows up, click on “ Set Print Area .”
  • Hit the print button.

The cell range selected as the print area will now have a thin grey border around it on your device. This also makes it a named range  that you can search.

How To Add Multiple Cell Ranges for Print Area in Excel

Multiple print areas can be extremely helpful, allowing you to print different cell ranges on different print active sheets.

The steps to select multiple cell ranges as print areas are similar to the ones for selecting one range. Here are steps to alter the print options and change the print area in Excel for multiple cell ranges:

  • Open the Excel spreadsheet where you wish to set the multiple cell ranges as the print area.

Click on Page Layout

  • Drag your mouse cursor to select the first cell range you wish to set as the print area.
  • Press Ctrl on your keyboard and select multiple cell ranges.

Click Set print area

  • Click the Page Layout tab in the main ribbon towards the top of the window and click the “ Print Area” button in the “ Page Setup” section.
  • In the dropdown menu, click the “ Set Print Area” button to set the first cell range as the print area.

Go to view and page break

However, having multiple cell ranges set as print areas can be confusing. That’s why having an easy way to view the print area is helpful.

To do this, head to the “ View ” tab from the main ribbon. Click the “ Page Break Preview ” button in the “ Workbook Views” section. To revert it, click on the “ Normal ” button.

How To Adjust Print Area in Excel

Excel’s print area feature isn’t dynamic, meaning the print area will not increase or decrease based on the input data. Thankfully, you won’t have to reselect the print area every time you make changes to the spreadsheet. Here are steps to change the print area in Excel:

  • Open the Excel spreadsheet where you wish to adjust the print area.
  • Drag your mouse cursor and select the area you wish to add to the existing print area.

Click on Page Layout in Excel

  • With the new cell range selected, click on the “ Page Layout ” option in the main ribbon.

Where to find the print area options in Excel

  • Click the “ Print Area ” button in the “ Page Setup ” section to open a dropdown menu.

Where to find the "Add to print area" option in Excel.

  • Click on the “ Add to Print Area ” option.

When you select a cell range adjacent to an existing cell range already selected as a print area, it will be added to the existing print area. The ranges of cells that are on a separate page and are not a part of another range will be treated as a new print area.

Related Reading: How to Print on One Page in Google Sheets

How To Remove Print Area in Excel

Removing the print area in Excel is easy and follows the steps discussed in the headings above. These being:

The file path the clear the print options GIF

  • Open the Excel spreadsheet where you wish to remove the print area.
  • Click on the “ Page Layout ” button in the main ribbon.
  • Click the “ Print Area ” button and choose the “ Clear Print Area ” button from the dropdown menu.

Related Reading: How to Print Selected Cells in Google Sheets

Troubleshooting Print Area in Excel

Of course, Excel’s print area feature may sometimes not work as expected. If this happens, you can resolve the issue using one of my fixes below.

Unable to Set Print Area

The print area can show the wrong cell ranges when you set the print area in Excel. The incorrect selection of the area can cause this.

To fix this, clear the print area and save changes to the spreadsheet. Then, try setting the print area again.

Missing Data in Printout

After setting the print area and printing the selected area, some data may be missing from the printout. This tends to happen if the data contains a lot of columns and is printed in a portrait layout.

This issue usually occurs because the column width exceeds the page width. To fix this, try reducing the column width for portrait page orientation and the row height for landscape orientation to ensure the data can fit on one page.

Printed Content Cut-Off

The print preview shows the entire cell range, but the printout doesn’t show the entire data. This tends to happen with incorrect margin selection.

To fix this, adjust the margin and scaling options to ensure the content fits the page’s printable area.

Printout Spans Multiple Pages

When you print out the selected cell range, the printed rows and columns often spill over to the next page, which can split up the data and waste pages. Adjust the print settings to fit the sheet on one page to fix this. You can also try adjusting the scaling and margin options.

Video walkthrough:

Related Reading: How To Print Labels from Excel

Frequently Asked Questions

Can i print multiple areas on one page in excel.

Unfortunately, no. You can only print contiguous cell ranges per page.

In this guide, I talked about how to set print area in Excel for single and multiple ranges, some issues with setting print area, and how to fix them. Setting the print area is a straightforward process but offers many benefits, especially if you find yourself working with large spreadsheets.

Are you someone who often prints out their spreadsheets? Let us know some of the tips and tricks you find helpful in the comments below.

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Excel 2024: Fast Worksheet Copy

February 26, 2024 - by Bill Jelen

Excel 2024: Fast Worksheet Copy

Yes, you can right-click any sheet tab and choose Move or Copy to make a copy of a worksheet. But that is the very slow way to copy a worksheet. The fast way: Hold down the Ctrl key and drag the worksheet tab to the right.

The downside of this trick is that the new sheet is called January (2) instead of February but that is the case with the Move or Copy method as well. In either case, double-click the sheet name and type a new name.

Ctrl+drag February to the right to create a sheet for March. Rename February (2) to March.

Select January. Shift+select March to select all worksheets. Hold down Ctrl and drag January to the right to create three more worksheets. Rename the three new sheets.

Select January. Shift+select June. Ctrl+drag January to the right, and you've added the final six worksheets for the year. Rename those sheets.

Using this technique, you can quickly come up with 12 copies of the original worksheet quickly.

A cartoon of the J spreadsheet Ctrl+Dragged to create the F spreadsheet. At the bottom, little cartoon M, A, M, J, J, A, S, O, N, D spreadsheets dance across the illustration.

Illustration: Walter Moore

Bonus Tip: Put the Worksheet Name in a Cell

If you want each report to have the name of the worksheet as a title, use either of these

=TEXTAFTER(CELL("filename",A1),"]")

=TRIM(MID(CELL("filename",A1),FIND("]",CELL("filename",A1))+1,20)) &" Report"

The CELL() function in this case returns the full path\[File Name]SheetName. By looking for the closing square bracket, you can figure out where the sheet name occurs.

If you plan on using this formula frequently, set up a book.xltx as described at  Use Default Settings for All Future Workbooks . In book.xltx, go to Formulas, Define Name. Use a name such as SheetName with a formula of =TEXTAFTER(CELL("filename",book.xltx!$A$1),"]") . Then, in any new workbook =SheetName&" Report" will work.

Bonus Tip: Add a Total Row and a Total Column with One AutoSum

Say that you want to add a total row and a total column to a data set. Select all the numbers plus one extra row and one extra column. Click the AutoSum icon or press Alt+= .

Numbers are in B4:E7. You want totals in row 8 and column F. Select B4:F8 and press Alt Equals.

Excel adds SUM functions to the total row and the total column as shown in the figure below.

After pressing Alt Equals, the blank cells in the Total row and Total column are filled with =SUM formulas.

Bonus Tip: Power Up the Status Bar Statistics

When you select two or more numeric cells, the total appears in the status bar in the lower right of the Excel window. When you see a total, right-click and choose Average, Count, Numerical Count, Minimum, Maximum, and Sum. You can now see the largest, smallest, and average just by selecting a range of cells.

Aha!: Left-click any number in the status bar to copy that number to the clipboard.

A range of numeric cells is selected. The status bar is showing statistics: Average, Count, Numerical Count, Min, Max, Sum.

Caution : Here is a fun fact: The numbers in the status bar are shown in the number format of the active cell. This is generally very useful and allows the status bar to show the Min and Max date as a date for example. But in one very confusing trick, someone had applied a crazy number format to hide the negative sign from a number to the top cell in a range. If you selected the range from the top, you had one number as the Sum in the status bar. If you selected from bottom to top, you had a different number in the status bar. It through a lot of really smart Excel people for a loop. For details, see Episode 2566 at the MrExcel YouTube channel .

Bonus Tip: Change All Sheets with Group Mode

Say that you have 12 worksheets that are mostly identical. You need to add totals to all 12 worksheets. To enter Group mode, right-click on any worksheet tab and choose Select All Sheets.

The name of the workbook in the title bar now indicates that you are in Group mode.

The title bar at the top of the Excel window shows the workbook name followed by the word Group enclosed in square brackets. [Group] is a very subtle indicator that the workbook is in group mode.

Anything you do to the January worksheet will now happen to all the sheets in the workbook.

Why is this dangerous? If you get distracted and forget that you are in Group mode, you might start entering January data and overwriting data on the 11 other worksheets!

When you are done adding totals, don't forget to right-click a sheet tab and choose Ungroup Sheets.

Bonus Tip: Create a SUM That Spears Through All Worksheets

So far, you have a workbook with 12 worksheets, 1 for each month. All of the worksheets have the same number of rows and columns. You want a summary worksheet in order to total January through December.

To create it, use the formula =SUM(January:December!B4) .

After sheets for January through December, a new Summary worksheet is shown. The formula =SUM(January:December!B4) is in B4.

Copy the formula to all cells and you will have a summary of the other 12 worksheets.

Copy the formula throughout the worksheet and you will have a report adding up the similar cell on the 12 monthly worksheets.

Caution : I make sure to never put spaces in my worksheet names. If you do use spaces or punctuation, the formula would have to include apostrophes, like this: =SUM('Jan 2025:Mar 2025'!B4) .

If you use 3D spearing formulas frequently, insert two new sheets, one called First and one called Last. Drag the sheet names so they create a sandwich with the desired sheets in the middle.Then, the formula is always =SUM(First:Last!B4) .

Here is an easy way to build a 3D spearing formula without having to type the reference: On the summary sheet in cell B4, type =SUM( . Using the mouse, click on the January worksheet tab. Using the mouse, Shift+click on the December worksheet tab. Using the mouse, click on cell B4 on the December worksheet. Type the closing parenthesis and press Enter .

Bonus Tip: Use INDIRECT for a Different Summary Report

Say that you want to build the following report, with months going down column A. In each row, you want to pull the grand total data from each sheet. Each sheet has the same number of rows, so the total is always in row 12.

The first formula would be =January!B12 . You could easily copy this formula to columns C:F, but there is not an easy way to copy the formula down to rows 5:15.

This summary report has the months January through December in A4:A15. The words Week 1 through Week 5 and Total in B3:G3.

The INDIRECT function evaluates text that looks like a cell reference. INDIRECT returns the value at the address stored in the text. In the next figure, a combination of the ADDRESS and COLUMN functions returns a series of text values that tell Excel where to get the total.

A formula of =A4&"!"&ADDRESS(12,COLUMN()) returns January!$B$12 to cell B4. Copy throughout the data and each cell returns text that looks like the correct cell reference. This example continues in the next figure.

Wrap the previous formula in =INDIRECT() to have Excel pull the totals from each worksheet.

Wrap the previous formula in INDIRECT: =INDIRECT(A4&"!"&ADDRESS(12,COLUMN())) and Excel returns the number from the Grand Total row on the monthly worksheets.

Caution : INDIRECT will not work for pulling data from other workbooks. Search the Internet for Harlan Grove PULL for a VBA method of doing this.

Thanks to Othneil Denis for the 3D formula tip, Olga Kryuchkova for the Group mode tip, and Al Momrik for status bar.

This article is an excerpt from MrExcel 2024 Igniting Excel

Title photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

  • Create a new workbook Article
  • Insert or delete a worksheet Article
  • Move or copy worksheets or worksheet data Article
  • Print a worksheet or workbook Article
  • Use Excel as your calculator Article
  • Fill data automatically in worksheet cells Article
  • Create a drop-down list Article

work sheet excel

Move or copy worksheets or worksheet data

You can move or copy a worksheet in the same workbook to organize your workbook exactly how you want.

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You can use the Move or Copy Sheet command to move or copy entire worksheets (also known as sheets), to other locations in the same or a different workbook. You can use the Cut and Copy commands to move or copy a portion of the data to other worksheets or workbooks.

Move a worksheet within a workbook

Select the worksheet tab, and drag it to where you want it.

Caution:  When you move a sheet to another workbook, check any formulas or charts that refer to data on the sheet because moving the sheet might cause errors or produce unintended results in your data. Similarly, if you move a sheet that is referred to by 3-D references, the calculation might include or leave out data on the sheet.

Copy a worksheet in the same workbook

Press CTRL and drag the worksheet tab to the tab location you want.

Right-click the worksheet tab and select  Move or Copy.

Select the  Create a copy  checkbox.

Under  Before sheet , select where you want to place the copy.

Select  OK.

When you need to reorganize your data, you can easily change the order of sheets in a workbook, or move or copy a sheet to another workbook. But be aware that calculations or charts that are based on sheet data may become inaccurate if you move the sheet.

Move a sheet

Drag the sheet tab to the location that you want along the row of sheet tabs.

Copy a sheet

Hold down OPTION.

Drag the sheet tab to the location that you want the copied sheet to appear along the row of sheet tabs.

Important:  Release the mouse button before you release the OPTION key.

Move a sheet to another workbook

Open the workbook that you want to move the sheet to.

On the Window menu, select the workbook that contains the sheet that you want to move.

Select the sheet that you want to copy to the other workbook.

On the Edit menu, select  Sheet > Move or Copy Sheet .

On the To book menu, select the workbook that you want to move the sheet to.

Tip:  To create a new workbook that contains the moved sheet, select  new book .

In the Before sheet box, select the sheet that you want to insert the moved sheet before, or select  move to end .

Select  OK .

Copy a sheet to another workbook

Open the workbook that you want to copy the sheet to.

On the Window menu, select the workbook that contains the sheet that you want to copy.

Select the sheet that you want to copy.

On the To book menu, select the workbook that you want to copy the sheet to.

In the Before sheet box, select the sheet that you want to insert the copied sheet before, or select  move to end .

Select the Create a copy check box.

Change the color of a sheet tab

Coloring the sheet tabs can help you keep track of your information in a large workbook.

Hold down CONTROL and select the sheet tab.

Select  Tab Color , and then select the color that you want to use.

In Excel for the web, you can duplicate (or copy) worksheets within the current workbook. Simply right-click the tab name at the bottom of the sheet and select  Duplicate .

Note:  You may receive an error when you are trying to duplicate a worksheet that contains a chart, picture, or shape. If you get an error, you can duplicate the sheet manually.

Duplicate the sheet manually

If you have elements in your worksheet that interfere with duplicating it, you can still create a copy of the worksheet manually by copying all the data and pasting it into a new sheet. Here's how:

Select all the data in the worksheet.

Keyboard shortcut: Press CTRL+Spacebar, on the keyboard, and then press Shift+Spacebar.

Copy all the data on the sheet by pressing CTRL+C.

Select the plus sign to add a new blank worksheet.

Add new sheet button

Select the first cell in the new sheet and press CTRL+V to paste the data.

Note:  You will lose any conditional formatting applied to the cells when you paste them into the new worksheet.

Copy a worksheet to another workbook

In Excel for the web, the option to move or copy a sheet isn’t available when you right-click a sheet tab, as it is in the Excel desktop application. In Excel for the web, you can achieve the same result by copying all of the data in the worksheet and pasting it into a blank worksheet in the other workbook.

Follow these steps to move or copy a worksheet to another workbook in Excel for the web:

Keyboard shortcut: Press CTRL+Spacebar and then press Shift+Spacebar.

Open the workbook in which you want to paste the data, then click the + in the status bar to add a new blank worksheet. 

Click the first cell in the new worksheet, then press CTRL+V to paste the data into that worksheet.

Note:  You will lose any conditional formatting applied to the cells when you paste them into the other workbook.

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February 13, 2024

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HansV MVP  -  Andreas Killer  -  Ashish Mathur  -  Jim_ Gordon  -  Rory Archibald   ✅

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Excel Workbook with VBA and Macros Getting Error Message When Saving

We are using Microsoft 365 which is indicating Excel version 2401 (Build 17231.20236 Click-to-Run). The workbook template we have been using has been in service for over three months, working without issue until yesterday. The user opened the template, enabled macros, populated the necessary fields then activated the rename button. The rename button renames the workbook based on the fields populated and saves the file to a specific location.

The error message presented:

work sheet excel

Next, the user attempted to Save As and was presented with this error message:

work sheet excel

Now the template file continues to give these errors and is unusable. I have placed a backup template file in place which is working properly. I have also compared the working file to the file with errors and cannot find any differences.

This problem seems to be the start of an awful trend for us. We have been presented with the second error message on three occasions over the past 45 days with other files. All use similar macros and VBA that we have been using for several years without issue.

What has changed and what needs to be done to prevent or fix this issue?

I suspect something is breaking down when we enable the macros, but I have no way of confirming. And, I suspect it is related to an update that was pushed out since these problems did not occur before and we have not changed the files.

Excel is core to our daily operations and unexplained errors create havoc especially when you cannot figure out what is causing the problem in the first place. Help is needed.

Thanks, Philip

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Replies (2) .

Snow Lu MSFT

  • Microsoft Agent |

It seems macro bug comes from Update in December and Microsoft fixed part of the issue.

Similar issue here.

Issues with VBA after upgrating to Version 2311 (Build 17029.20108) - Microsoft Community

Release notes for Current Channel releases - Office release notes | Microsoft Learn

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After the latest update to 17131.20236, it seems issues with macro-enabled documents is worse.

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    You need to add totals to all 12 worksheets. To enter Group mode, right-click on any worksheet tab and choose Select All Sheets. The name of the workbook in the title bar now indicates that you are in Group mode. The title bar at the top of the Excel window shows the workbook name followed by the word Group enclosed in square brackets.

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    Press CTRL and drag the worksheet tab to the tab location you want. OR. Right-click the worksheet tab and select Move or Copy. Select the Create a copy checkbox. Under Before sheet, select where you want to place the copy. Select OK. When you need to reorganize your data, you can easily change the order of sheets in a workbook, or move or copy ...

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