Renaming Worksheets Based On a List

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 25, 2021)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016


5

Gilbert has a worksheet (named "Control") that contains a list of desired worksheet names in cells A1:A12. He needs a way, in a macro, to rename each of the other 12 worksheets in the workbook based upon that range of cells. The worksheet names don't need to be dynamic; they just need to be renamed when he runs the macro.

The core of developing a macro to address this need is to rely on the Name property of each worksheet you want to rename. For instance, you could use a very simple macro like this:

Sub RenameSheets()
    Dim c As Range
    Dim J As Integer

    J = 0
    For Each c In Range("A1:A12")
        J = J + 1
        If Sheets(J).Name = "Control" Then J = J + 1
        Sheets(J).Name = c.Text
    Next c
End Sub

The macro simply steps through the cell range A1:A12 and, if the next worksheet isn't named "Control," it renames the worksheet to the cell value.

As noted, this macro is very simplistic and should, in all likelihood, be a lot more robust. For instance, what should be done if there are more (or fewer) than 13 worksheets in the current workbook? What should be done if there are empty cells in the range A1:A12? What should be done if someone runs the macro and "Control" isn't the active worksheet? What should be done if there are two identical values in A1:A12? What if there are leading or trailing spaces on one or more names in the range A1:A12? These and (most likely) a whole range of other questions can affect how the macro finally looks. Here's a commented version of the macro that takes into account several of the possibilities just mentioned:

Sub RenameSheets()
    Dim c As Range
    Dim J As Integer
    Dim K As Integer
    Dim sName As String
    Dim w(12) As String
    Dim bGo As Boolean
    Dim sTemp As String

    bGo = True
    If Worksheets.Count <> 13 Then
        ' Check to make sure exactly 13 worksheets in workbook
        bGo = False
        sTemp = "There are more than 13 worksheets."
    End If
    If ActiveSheet.Name <> "Control" Then
        ' Check to make sure Control is active
        bGo = False
        sTemp = "Control worksheet is not active."
    Else
        ' Check for empty and duplicate cells in range
        J = 0
        For Each c In Range("A1:A12")
            sName = Trim(c.Text)
            If sName <> "" Then
                For K = 1 to J
                    If LCase(w(K)) = LCase(sName) Then
                        bGo = False
                        sTemp = "Duplicate sheet names in list."
                    End If
                Next K
                If bGo Then
                    ' Everything still good; add name
                    J = J + 1
                    w(J) = sName
                End If
            End If
        Next c
    End If

    If bGo Then
        K = 0
        For J = 1 To 12
            K = K + 1
            If Sheets(K).Name = "Control" Then K = K + 1
            Sheets(K).Name = w(J)
        Next J
    Else
        MsgBox(sTemp)
    End If
End Sub

Notice how much longer the second version of the macro is than the first? Anytime you start adding multiple checks in a macro, it can really make it much longer than without the checks. The benefit in adding the checks, of course, is that your macro is less likely to run into problems as it is used by people other than you.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (1506) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is two more than 0?

2021-11-26 08:32:44

HC&TS (Hans Hallebeek)

One important additional routine you should include and seriously keep in mind if the length of the proposed (new) worksheet name, it should NOT exceed 31 characters


2021-11-25 09:27:34

Jad

Hello Allen,

Thank you for the macro, and all the tips and information you put on your site.
I have one question about the macro here, I might have missed the point but I see that you set J = 0 and then for in the loop K = 1 to J, but I do not see were the upper limit for J is set.

Thank you in advance for your clarification


2018-07-02 06:57:19

piyush

Wow... loved the code. Thanks a ton.


2018-06-28 18:44:39

Kuldeep

Did not work
Gave subscript out of range error

Sheets(j).name=c.text

KD


2018-06-19 11:31:29

Rob

Amazing, worked first time! Thanks so much


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