Excel Workbook Tips
Copy existing Excel workbooks, add spacer tabs, and more Excel workbook tips
Video: Create Workbook Copy Without Save
Instead of creating an Excel file from scratch, you can save time by
basing the new workbook on an existing file. Open the old file, then use
the Save As command, to create a copy.
However, it is easy to forget that step, and you end up making unwanted
changes to the original file. To be safe, use one of the tips in this
video, to open a copy of the original, and keep it safe from changes.
Watch this video to see the steps for creating a copy of the original
file, without using the Save As command.
Copy Worksheet to New Workbook
With just a few clicks, you can create a new workbook, from an existing
To move or copy worksheet(s) to a new workbook:
- Right-click on the sheet tab (or, select a group of sheets, and right-click
on one of the selected sheet tabs)
- Click Move or Copy>
- In the Move or Copy window, click the arrow in the drop down list
at the top
- Select (new book) as the option
- To copy the sheet, check the create a copy box (leave the check box
blank if you want to move the sheet)
- Click OK
Workbook Navigation Tips
It can be difficult to find a specific sheet, if an Excel file has many
worksheets. This video shows how to use navigation arrows, worksheet list,
coloured tabs, and spacer tabs, to make it easier to find a specific sheet.
The written instructions for spacer tabs are below the
Add Spacer Tabs in Workbook
Thanks to AlexJ for sending this Spacer Tab tip. See more of his work
on the AlexJ
Sample Files page.
In a large workbook, you can colour
the sheet tabs, to identify the sections, such as data entry and reports.
To add visual separation between the coloured sheet groups, add a spacer
- To insert a blank sheet, select the last sheet in a group, then click
the New Sheet button.
- To rename the new sheet, double-click the sheet tab, and type a single
NOTE: If inserting additional spacer sheets, use an additional space
character for each new spacer sheet, because sheet names cannot be duplicated.
- Leave the spacer sheet tab with its default "No Fill" colour,
or change it to White fill colour, to create a bit of "white space"
between the tab groups.
Spacer Tab Tips
- Don't use too many spacer tabs, because each one will be slightly
wider than the previous one. A limit of 2 or 3 spacer tabs works best.
- If you are concerned that people might click on the spacer tabs, and
be confused by the blank sheets, you can add a message on that sheet,
or a hyperlink that takes them back to the main sheet.
- When you right-click the Excel Naviation arrows, the popup list of
sheets will be clearly separated into groups, due to the blank sheet
names. This will make it easier to scan a long list of sheet names.
- If you view the sheets in the VBA Project Explorer, change the sheet
code names, so they are grouped at the end of the list of worksheets.
For example, use zSpace01, zSpace02, and so on.
More Excel Tips and Tutorials
Save File with Preview
Copy VBA to Sheet
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