Tip: Quickly select Excel sheets in a busy workbook

Excel workbooks have supported multiple sheets for a long time. I'm  probably showing my age when I admit that I remember when an Excel file came with only one sheet!

I see many workbooks crammed full of sheets. This is particularly true of independent users. They tend to put everything in one workbook file. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the more sheets you have, the harder it is to select the one you need. Sheet tab space is limited. As you insert sheets, the tabs seemingly slip behind the horizontal scroll bar and out of sight.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched someone scroll through all the sheet tabs (using the Tab scrolling buttons, just to the left of the sheet tabs) until they find the right sheet. If a sheet is close, scrolling isn't bad, but I’ve watched folks scroll through a dozen or more sheets!

Fortunately, there’s a quicker way. Right-click any of the Tab scrolling buttons to display a full list of sheets. Then, select the sheet from the list.

If you can’t find the Tab scrolling buttons in 2003 or an earlier version enable them as follows:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu.
  2. Click the view tab.
  3. Check the Sheet Tabs option in the Windows Options section.
  4. Click OK.

In 2007, do the following:

  1. Open the Office button.
  2. Click Excel Options (in the bottom right corner).
  3. Select Advanced.
  4. Scroll down to the Display Options In This Workbook section.
  5. Check the Show Sheet Tabs option.
  6. Click OK.