Workbooks and Worksheets

A workbook is an individual Excel file that you save on your hard drive. Each workbook is made up of one or more worksheets, which let you organize your data in lots of complex and interesting ways. Try thinking of a workbook as a bound ledger with multiple paper worksheets. Although most of the work you do is probably in an individual sheet, it’s often useful to store several spreadsheets in a single workbook document—for the convenience of linking multiple Excel worksheets.

Working with Multiple Worksheets

Although it doesn’t offer quite the heart-pounding excitement of, say, the Chart Gallery, managing the worksheets in a workbook is an important part of mastering Excel. Here’s what you should know to get the most out of your sheets:

Tip

Several of the techniques described here involve selecting more than one worksheet. To do so, ⌘-click the tabs of the individual sheets you want—or click the first in a consecutive series, then Shift-click the last.

  • Adding sheets. With Excel 2008, Microsoft makes a noble effort to save virtual paper—and in turn preserve a virtual forest. Instead of the three sheets of Excel’s past, every Excel workbook now starts out with one sheet, bearing the inspired name Sheet1. (You can set the number of sheets in a new workbook in Excel → Preferences → General panel.)

    To add a new sheet to your workbook, click the plus-sign tab at the bottom of the worksheet or choose Insert → Sheet → Blank Sheet. A new sheet appears on top of your current ...

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