Working with multiple worksheets in Excel can be challenging if you are not familiar with the features the software has to offer. When you need to apply the same formatting to a cell/range or edit the same cells in all your worksheets, it would be best to group them together to make your work more efficient.
Thankfully, Microsoft Excel allows you to group your worksheets so you can easily make changes in one go instead of going through the sheets individually. This article will guide you on how to group worksheets in Excel and help you understand how the feature works.
How Grouping Multiple Worksheets in Excel Works
If you have a workbook with multiple sheets that has the same layout but contains different data, grouping worksheets can be an excellent feature to use. To give you an overview of how this feature works, imagine having a workbook with multiple worksheets, one for each month.
Our workbook above contains multiple worksheets that represent each month. If we group all these worksheets together, any actions you do on any of these worksheets will reflect on all of them.
For example, you want to add a new expense on A7 called “Water,” by grouping all of the sheets, the word ‘Water” will be applied in the same cell on all of the sheets available in your workbook.
How To Group Worksheets In Excel
There are different ways to group worksheets together, such as grouping selected worksheets only or grouping all the sheets you have on your workbook. Below can help you understand how you can group worksheets in Excel under different scenarios.
Group Selected Worksheets
In some scenarios, you would only want to group some specific worksheets rather than all of them. One of the most popular workarounds for this scenario is to hide sheets that you won’t be needing to work on.
However, you can group selected worksheets, which makes it easier to work on them. Using the same example shown above, here’s how to do it:
1. Press and hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard and select the sheets you want to group. The sheets you selected will have a white background.
Pro Tip: You can group consecutive worksheets by selecting the first worksheet, press and hold the Shift key and then click on the last worksheet you want to group. This technique allows you to select all the worksheets in between the first and last sheet.
2. After grouping the worksheets, anything you do on the active sheet will be applied to all the sheets in the group. For example, If I enter an amount on C3 in the active sheet, it will be added in cell C3 in all the other sheets that are grouped.
You can also use this to enter the same formula in the same cell in different worksheets, add/delete rows, columns, or even make formatting changes. This can make your work more efficient as you won’t be needing to go through all sheets one by one as you can do it only once in the active sheet.
Note: By grouping worksheets together, the word “Group” is added to the workbook name. This allows you to quickly check whether a workbook contains any group sheets or not.
Ungroup Selected Worksheets
If you are done working on multiple worksheets and want to ungroup all or some of them, follow the step below:
- Hold the Control key again and click on the sheets that you want to ungroup. This will ungroup all the selected sheets but keep the others grouped if you only need to remove some of the worksheets.
Group All Worksheets
If you need to quickly select all the worksheets all in one go, there are two ways you can choose from: using the Shift key or by Right-clicking any tabs.
Here’s how you can group all sheets by using the Shift key:
- On your workbook, select the left-most sheet. Press and hold the Shift key and click the last sheet found on the right-most part of the tab. This works best if you only have a couple of sheets on your workbook.
If you have a lot of sheets and want to group all of them at once, using the Right-click method is best for you. Here’s how you can do it:
- Right-click on any tabs. Click the Select All Sheets. This will automatically group all worksheets you have on your workbook.
Note: Navigating through other tabs when you have grouped all your sheets will ungroup them. You can only browse through other worksheets if you only group selected sheets but not when everything is grouped.
Ungroup All Worksheets
You can easily ungroup all your worksheets by following the step below:
- On your workbook, Righ-click any of the grouped sheets tab and click Ungroup Sheets. Alternatively, you can click on any sheet apart from the active one, and your sheets will be ungrouped automatically.
Important Things To Remember
When working on grouped sheets, you will likely forget to ungroup them and continue working on the file. If this happens, any changes you make on the active sheet will be applied to all the grouped sheets. This can usually happen if you have only grouped selected sheets, as navigating through other sheets won’t ungroup them. Here are some tips that can help you avoid this scenario:
- Check the name of the workbook. When you group worksheets, the word “Group” is added to the name of your book. This is an indication that there are grouped sheets in your file.
- Visual cues. Grouped sheets have a slightly different color than regular sheet tabs, making it easy for you to spot if there are any grouped sheets.
- Create a backup. If you’re scared that you might mess up your progress, create a backup copy of your workbook. If the worst-case scenario happened, you could easily get back to work before you grouped your sheets.
Be More Productive with Microsoft Excel
Understanding the different features of Microsoft Excel can help you be more productive and efficient. This software is packed with useful tools that can cut down the amount of time you need to finish any project. If you need to work on different sheets and are pressed for time, learning how to group worksheets in Excel will make your work less complicated.