Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Freezing Worksheet Tabs.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 27, 2019)
Jonathan has a workbook that contains over fifty worksheets, one of which is named "Main" and is positioned as the first tab in the workbook. He is constantly having to revert back to the "Main" worksheet. In order to display the worksheet, he must either click back a tab at a time or scroll all the way to the left of the tabs (by clicking on the control at the far left of the tabs) and then select the "Main" tab. This last method is the easiest, but still is time consuming. Jonathan wonders if there is a way, much like freezing a pane, to freeze a worksheet tab. He would like the "Main" tab to always be visible, and the tabs to its right to scroll.
The short answer is no, there is not a way in Excel to freeze the worksheet tabs. That being said, there are several things you can do to get the results you want.
One possible solution is to use hyperlinks in your worksheets. Many people set up a system where their main worksheet functions as a table of contents to the other worksheets in the workbook. Each worksheet is hyperlinked from the main worksheet, and each non-main worksheet has a hyperlink back to the main worksheet. Thus they can navigate very quickly between the main and secondary worksheets just by clicking the hyperlinks.
Another option is to remember that you can right-click on the worksheet tab controls at the left of the tabs at the bottom of the Excel window. When you do, you get a list of the first fifteen worksheet names, and you can easily select the "Main" worksheet.
Still another option is to set up a very simple macro that always displays the "Main" worksheet:
Sub GoToMain() Sheets("Main").Select End Sub
You can assign this macro to either a shortcut key or add it to the Quick Access toolbar so that you could use it very quickly. When run, the worksheet named "Main" is always displayed.
If you absolutely want to always have the "Main" sheet visible in the tabs area, then you must resort to a macro that will continuously reorder the tabs so that "Main" is always visible.
Private Sub Workbook_SheetActivate(ByVal Sh As Object) Dim sc As Long ' count of sheets Dim NewPos As Long ' index of serlected sheet Application.EnableEvents = False Application.ScreenUpdating = False If ActiveSheet.Index <> 1 Then sc = Sheets.Count NewPos = ActiveSheet.Index For i = 2 To NewPos - 1 Sheets(2).Move After:=Sheets(sc) Next i Sheets(1).Activate Sheets(2).Activate End If Application.ScreenUpdating = True Application.EnableEvents = True End Sub
This macro needs to be part of the ThisWorkbook object, so make sure you add it into the proper place in the VBA Editor. The easiest way to do this is to follow these steps:
The macro always moves the worksheets in positions 2 through however many sheets you have so that the desired worksheet is in the second position. This means that the worksheet in the first position (Main) never moves.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8937) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Freezing Worksheet Tabs.
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