Every now and then you are made to work on an Excel workbook that has 15 spreadsheets. It drives you crazy going back and forth those 15 sheets trying to figure out where the information is.
Does this sound familiar ?
Once in a while I work on excel files that have as many as 15 worksheets. In this post, we will see 4 simple ways in which you can stay calm when you have an insanely large workbook with a gazillion worksheets (ok, not gazillion, just a couple of tens of spreadsheets)
1. Excel Table of Contents
When you have lots of sheets, it often helps to build a table of contents spreadsheet with hyperlinks to other sheets. This will help the spreadsheet users to quickly switch between worksheets.
There are 2 ways to do this.
Simple way is to create ToC in Excel is to insert hyperlinks. Press CTRL+k to activate “insert hyperlink” dialog and select “place in this document”. Then select the sheet name and change the “text to display”. Click OK to insert the hyperlink in your workbook. Repeat this for how many ever sheets you have. Now you will have a neat looking table of contents sheet in your workbook.
A slightly elegant way to do this is to use HYPERLINK excel formula. You can write =HYPERLINK(“#’New York’!a1”, “New York”) to insert a link to the New York sheet. When you click on it, excel will take you to the A1 cell in the New York sheet. Remember to use the “#” symbol before the spreadsheet name, otherwise the link wouldn’t work.
2. Use color to differentiate sheets
This is a very good way to know which sheet has what. For eg. you can color all your data sheets in blue and formula / calculation sheets in light yellow. Don’t over color as it looks weird (and that is purely because of Excel’s choice of colors)
3. Learn a few Key Board Shortcuts and Jump Between Sheets Quickly
Use CTRL + Page Down to go to the next spreadsheet
Use CTRL + Page Up to go to the previous spreadsheet
If you know which sheet you need to go, press CTRL + G and type the sheet name along with cell address. For eg. If you need to go to A1 cell in Sheet “London”, type: ‘London’!A1
4. Use the Right Click Menu
This is my favorite trick, right click on the sheet scroll buttons on the lower left corner of the Excel window and select the sheet you want to activate. Click on “More sheets” to see the entire list of sheets and navigate to the one you want.
Photo credit to lorenzo_stupid_kid AKA rockito