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Excel: Grouping Worksheets  

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Microsoft Excel: The Hidden Power of Grouping

One of the most frequent Excel questions I hear is some variation of "Is there a way to add the same header and footer (or page layout) to more than one worksheet at the same time?" The answer is easy but the steps are not intuitive and not even covered in most Excel books or websites. The solution is to group worksheets by selecting multiple sheets in a workbook. When you group worksheets you can:excel, select worksheets, tips, format, group

  • Print a selection of sheets at the same time.
  • Enter or edit data on several worksheets at once.
  • Apply formatting, such as Page Setup options, to a selection of worksheets all at the same time. No need to repeat the same steps over and over again.
  • Move, copy, or delete a group of worksheets.

To select two or more adjacent sheets:

Click the tab for the first sheet in the group. Then hold down [Shift] while you click the tab for the last sheet you want to select.

To select two or more non-adjacent sheets:

Click the tab for the first sheet in the group. Then hold down [Ctrl] while you click the tabs of the other sheets you want to select. Tabs for selected worksheets will display as active or white.

To select all of the worksheets in a workbook:

Right-click on any sheet tab and then left-click on Select All Sheets from the shortcut menu.

When more than one worksheet is selected, you should see [Group] in the title bar of your Excel workbook. Once you group worksheets, any action or command you do in one of the worksheets will also apply to all of the other worksheets in the group. This is the trick to duplicate the same header, footer, or page layout to a group of worksheets. In Excel 2010 & Excel 2007, pick Insert tab > Header & Footer. For Excel 2003 or 2002, choose File > Page Setup and then click the Header/Footer tab. Also, any text or formatting you add, such as a change to a column heading will be the same in each selected worksheet. When grouping, if you type data into cell B5, for example, every selected worksheet will now have the new data in cell B5.

Careful! Once you are finished with the formatting and data changes you want to add to the selected worksheets, be sure to un-group the worksheets so you don't accidentally change a group of worksheets with an edit intended only for one worksheet.

To un-group/un-select a group of worksheets:

  • Left-click on any sheet tab, or
  • Right-click on any sheet tab and then left-click on Ungroup Sheets from the shortcut menu

Check the workbook title bar to verify your worksheets are no longer grouped and continue working with each worksheet individually.

Dawn Bjork Buzbee, MCT, The Software Pro

Dawn Bjork Buzbee is The Software Pro and a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) as well as a certified Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Master Instructor, certified Microsoft Applications Specialist (MCAS) Instructor, and a certified Microsoft Office expert. Dawn shares smart and easy ways to effectively use software through her work as a software speaker, trainer, consultant, and author of 8 books.

This article and more can be reprinted at no charge in your publications and website with copyright and attribution.
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Hot Excel Tip
Hold [Ctrl] and click to select multiple worksheets for formatting a group.
 
Did You Know?
Switch to the Page Layout view (View > Page Layout) in Excel 2010 and Excel 2007 to enter a header or footer directly into your worksheet.
 
 
 
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