How to Move Around and Between Worksheet Tabs in Excel

01
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Use Shortcut Keys to Change Worksheets in Excel

Moving Around and Between Worksheets in Excel with Shortcut Keys
Moving Around and Between Worksheets in Excel. © Ted French

Using Shortcut Keys to Move Around and Between Worksheets

Excel has a number of ways to move to different data areas in a worksheet or between different worksheets in the same workbook.

Some methods - such as the Go To command - can be accessed using keyboard shortcut key combinations, which, at times, can be easier - and quicker - to use than the mouse.

The information for the various navigation methods can be found on the following pages:

  1. Switching Between Worksheets
  2. Using the Go To Command
  3. Moving using the Name Box

Switching Between Worksheets

Switching between worksheets in an Excel workbook is done easily enough by clicking on the tabs at the bottom of the worksheets, but it is the slow way of doing it - at least it is in the opinion of those who prefer to use keyboard shortcuts or shortcut keys whenever possible.

And, as it happens, there are shortcut keys for switching between worksheets in Excel.

The keys used are:

Ctrl + PgUp (page up) - move one sheet to the left
Ctrl + PgDn (page down) - move one sheet to the right

How to Switch Between Worksheets Using Shortcut Keys

To move to the right:

  1. Press and hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard.
  2. Press and release the PgDn key on the keyboard.
  3. To move another sheet to the right press and release the PgDn key a second time.

To move to the left:

  1. Press and hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard.
  2. Press and release the PgUp key on the keyboard.
  3. To move another sheet to the left press and release the PgUp key a second time.

02
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Using Go To Shortcut Keys to Move Around Excel Worksheets

Navigating Between Cells and Worksheets with the Go To Command in Excel
Navigating Between Cells and Worksheets with the Go To Command. © Ted French

Go To Overview

The Go To command in Excel can be used to quickly navigate to different cells in a worksheet.

 Although using Go To is not that useful for worksheets containing only a few columns and rows, but for larger worksheets, it is another easy way of jumping from one area of your worksheet to another.

Go To works by

  1. opening the Go To dialog box
  2. typing in the destination cell reference in the Reference line at the bottom of the dialog box
  3. clicking OK or pressing the Enter key on the keyboard

The result is the active cell highlight jumps to the cell reference that was entered in the dialog box.

Activating Go To

The Go To command can be activated three ways:

  • by clicking Home > Find & Select > Go To on the ribbon menu with the mouse
  • by pressing the F5 key on the keyboard
  • by pressing the Ctrl + g keys in combination on the keyboard

Storing Cell References for Reuse

An additional feature that Go To has is that it stores previously entered cell references in the large Go To window at the top of the dialog box.

So if you are jumping back and forth between two or more areas of a worksheet, Go To can save you even more time by reusing the cell references stored in the dialog box.

Cell references are stored in the dialog box as long as a workbook remains open. Once it is closed, the stored list of cell references in the Go To dialog box is deleted.

Navigating with Go To Example

  1. Press the F5 or Ctrl + g on the keyboard to bring up the Go To dialog box.
  2. Type in the cell reference of the desired destination in the Reference line of the dialog box. In this case: HQ567.
  3. Click on the OK button or press the Enter key on the keyboard.
  4. The black box that surrounds the active cell should jump to cell HQ567 making it the new active cell.
  5. To move to another cell, repeat steps 1 to 3

Navigating Between Worksheets with Go To

Go To can also be used to navigate to different worksheets in the same workbook by entering the sheet name along with the cell reference.

Note: the exclamation point ( ! ) - located above the number 1 on the keyboard - is always used as a separator between the worksheet name and the cell reference - spaces are not permitted.

For example, to move from Sheet 1 to cell HQ567 on Sheet 3, enter Sheet3!HQ567 in the reference line of the Go To dialog box and press the Enter key.

03
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Using the Name Box to Move Around Excel Worksheets

Using the Name Box to Navigate Between Cells and Worksheets in Excel
Using the Name Box to Navigate Between Cells and Worksheets. © Ted French

Name Box Overview

As indicated in the image above, the Name Box is located above column A in an Excel worksheet and it can be used to navigate to different areas of that worksheet using cell references.

As with the Go To command, the Name Box might not be helpful in worksheets that contain only a few columns and rows of data, but for larger worksheets, or for those with separate data areas  using the Name Box to easily jump from one location to the next can be a very efficient way to work.

Unfortunately, there is no way to access the Name Box using the keyboard without creating a VBA macro. Normal operation requires clicking on the Name Box with the mouse.

The Active Cell Reference in the Name Box

Normally, the Name Box displays the cell reference or named range for the current or active cell - the cell in the current worksheet that is outlined by a black border or box.

When a new Excel workbook is opened, by default, cell A1 in the top left corner of the worksheet is the active cell.

Entering a new cell reference or range name in the Name Box and pressing the Enter key changes the active cell and shifts the black box - and what is visible on the screen along with it - to the new location.

Navigating with the Name Box

  1. Click on the Name Box above column A with the mouse to highlight the cell reference of the active cell
  2. Type in the cell reference of the desired destination - such as HQ567
  3. Press the Enter key on the keyboard
  4. The black box that surrounds the active cell should jump to cell HQ567 making it the new active cell
  5. To move to another cell, type another cell reference in the Name Box and press the Enter key on the keyboard

Navigating Between Worksheets with the Name Box

Like Go To, the Name Box can also be used to navigate to different worksheets in the same workbook by entering the sheet name along with the cell reference.

Note: the exclamation point ( ! ) - located above the number 1 on the keyboard - is always used as a separator between the worksheet name and the cell reference - spaces are not permitted.

For example, to move from Sheet 1 to cell HQ567 on Sheet 3, enter Sheet3!HQ567 in the Name Box and press the Enter key.