Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Workaround for Multiple Rows of Worksheet Tabs.

Workaround for Multiple Rows of Worksheet Tabs

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 27, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013


At the bottom of Excel's program window you can see tabs that represent the various worksheets in your workbook. You may wonder if there is a way to have multiple rows of the sheet tabs displayed, for those workbooks that have many worksheets in them.

Unfortunately, Excel provides no intrinsic way to change the number of rows of worksheet tabs displayed; it appears that the limit of a single row is hard-coded into the program. There are a couple of workarounds you can try, however.

  • Use shorter worksheet names. Shorter names allows more tabs to be automatically displayed horizontally.
  • Click the divider bar between the tab area and the horizontal scroll bar, dragging it to the right. The scroll bar gets narrower, and the space allotted to the tabs becomes wider.

If your tabs still won't all fit on the screen, right-click on the navigation controls just to the left of the tabs. You should see a list of sheet names you can select. If there are too many sheet names to display in that way (more than 15), select the More Sheets option, and Excel displays the Activate dialog box, from which you can select a sheet name.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10317) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Workaround for Multiple Rows of Worksheet Tabs.

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 nine less than 9?

2018-02-10 11:50:38


I would love to see Ruthie's subroutine for creating an Index tab

2018-02-09 18:01:23


I also use a macro to create a Table of Contents on a separate sheet - the first sheet in the workbook - with hyperlinks to each sheet. but instead of having to insert a hyperlink into each sheet, which goes back to the TOC, I have a macro Icon on the Quick Access toolbar which I can access quickly from any sheet. It takes me back to the TOC sheet. This is a very simple macro and it works great.

Sub GoToTOC()
End Sub

2018-02-06 10:21:33


I once used ruthIe's method for setting up a hyperlinked index for a large apartment complex. Worked great.

2018-01-31 20:22:34


Some of my workbooks are quite massive (50+ sheets). Using a macro, I create a worksheet called "Index" listing all worksheets within the workbook. Each worksheet name is a hyperlink to that worksheet. A hyperlink to the "Index" is installed on each of the other worksheets. That way I'm no more than 2 clicks away from whichever worksheet I want. If other people are going to use my workbook, I add a "Description" column on the "Index" worksheet.

2018-01-31 15:08:58


The best alternative is to right click on the arrows to the left of the tabs. That will bring up a complete list of all the unhidden worksheets. You can then click on the sheet you want to activate. If you have more than 20 or so sheets, you can use the scroll bar to view the complete list. If you know the first letter of the desired sheet's name, you can enter that letter and it will sequentially highlight all the sheets in the list that start with that letter.

Sometimes I will use the Snipping Tool to grab that list and paste it into one or more of the worksheets as a directory. Note that you might want to first unhide any hidden sheets to get the complete list.

(I'm sure Allen can up with macro that will generate a Text Box listing all the sheet names. Or maybe even a control that would let you click on a selection to activate that sheet. Wouldn't that be great.)

2015-04-01 02:33:29


not useful at all. Shorter names and sliding that divider are not effective options and are really obvious...

2015-01-30 09:20:15

Ron Jeremias

I just switched to a newer version of Excel. I have an older workbook with a large number of spreadsheets that I named a, b, c, etc. and I was able to see all of my tabs. But in the newer version of Excel the tabs seem to have a minimum width of about 5 characters, even when the tab name has only one character. Thus, fewer tabs are visible. Is there a fix for this? In other words, can I narrow the width of the tabs so that I can fit in more tabs?

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