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: Editing the Same Cell in Multiple Sheets.

Editing the Same Cell in Multiple Sheets

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 18, 2021)

It is not unusual for all the worksheets in a particular workbook to be very much the same as each other. For instance, you might have a workbook that contains your annual budget data. Each worksheet in the workbook is devoted to a different month of the year. Each worksheet contains the same rows, the same columns, and the same formulas. The only thing that may be different is the heading on each worksheet—along with the raw data for each month, of course.

If your worksheets are very similar to each other, Excel provides a very easy way to modify the contents of a particular cell on each worksheet, all at the same time. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Select the first worksheet in the series that you want to edit.
  2. Hold down the Shift key as you click on the tab for the last worksheet in the series you want to edit. A range of worksheets should now be selected. Excel also adds the word [Group] to the title bar to indicate you have a group of worksheets selected.
  3. Make your changes to the worksheet shown on the screen. Your changes are automatically made on every other sheet in the range as well.
  4. When done, select a single worksheet by clicking on its tab. (Click on the tab of a worksheet other than the first in the range.)

Step 3 may sound a bit confusing, but it isn't really. If you have a range of worksheets selected, and you enter a formula in cell D4, then the same formula is entered in cell D4 on each of the selected worksheets. This is very powerful, and Excel won't notify you if you are going to overwrite an existing formula on one of the worksheets. That is why step 4—deselecting the worksheets—is so important. If you forget to do so, you can easily mess up all your worksheets without intending to do so.

There is one other potential gotcha to watch out for: Using cell D4 as an example, if one of the worksheets you select has cell D4 protected or one of them has cell D4 "missing" (because it is merged with another cell), then you won't get the desired results.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10653) 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: Editing the Same Cell in Multiple Sheets.

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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