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Rename Excel Worksheets: Easy with Tips & Tricks and Methods!

rename, excel, worksheets, name, sheets

A basic task in Excel: Renaming worksheets. Just changing the name is quite simple. But what if you have to do it for dozens of sheets? And what rules are there for worksheet names? What character can you use? In this article we’ll have a close look at how to rename Excel worksheets.

How to rename worksheets?

Rename worksheets with your mouse

Rename worksheets with Alt –> h –> o –> r.

Changing a worksheet name in Excel is quite straight forward. There are actually three ways:

Rename worksheets with keyboard shortcuts

But what do you do, if you have to rename several worksheets in Excel? Renaming a worksheet can be troublesome, especially when you have to double-click on each sheet name separately. There is a keyboard shortcut (on Windows):

Press these keys on your keyboard one after another:

 –>  –>  –> .

With a little bit of practice, you can save some time. Especially as you don’t have to grab the mouse.

There is another related keyboard which might help you in this context. Insert new worksheets:

 +  + .

Requirements for worksheet names

General requirements

There are some general requirements for worksheet names:

Characters you can’t use in worksheet names

Error message when you try to use a character in worksheet names, which is not allowed.

You can’t use any of the following character. In newer versions of Excel you can’t even type these character. In older version, you’ll get an error message similar to the one on the right hand side.

That’s it for the strict conditions of worksheet names in Excel. However, there are some more recommendations for worksheet names.

Recommendations and best practice when you rename sheets

General recommendations

Let’s start with some obvious recommendations:

The workbook structure should be consistent and easy to understand. Use proper names reflecting the structure.

Characters you should not use in worksheet names

Many special characters (here: “-“) in worksheet names create single quotation marks around the worksheet name.

We usually advise not to use character as spaces or special characters as ‘!’, ‘%’ or ‘-‘. The reason is, that if you link to a sheet with such name, Excel will insert single quotation marks. Formulas like INDIRECT will be more difficult to create. So why not omit such character from the beginning?

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Special characters that don’t generate single quotation marks

There are characters in worksheets names which don’t generate single quotation marks (here: _ (underscore)).

You really want to use special characters for worksheet names in Excel? What about the following one? Any of them suitable for you? The advantage of these characters: They don’t require or add the single quotation mark.

Summary of renaming worksheets

Renaming Excel worksheets is simple. Every Excel user has to deal with it. But there are some strict rules and requirements. Furthermore there are recommendations which should simplify your work in Excel.

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