Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Changing Months in a Workbook.

Changing Months in a Workbook

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 23, 2016)

1

It is not unusual to keep track of monthly information, of one sort or another, in a workbook. You might be tracking expenses, sales, inventory movements, stock prices, or any of a thousand other things. When you start a new month, you may make a copy of the previous month's workbook and then look for a way to make changes to the month name that appears in various places in the newly created copy.

If the month name you want to change is stored as text within various worksheets, you can use Excel's find and replace feature to make the changes. Just follow these steps:

  1. Click on the tab of the first worksheet in which you want to make changes.
  2. Hold down the Shift key as you click on the tab of the last worksheet in which you want to make changes. All of the worksheets you want to change should now be selected.
  3. Press Ctrl+H to display the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  4. In the Find What box, enter the old month's name.
  5. In the Replace With box, enter the new month's name.
  6. Click on Replace All.
  7. Close the Find and Replace dialog box.

If these steps do not change a particular month name as it appears in your workbook, it could be because the month name is not actually text, but a date value formatted to show only the month. In that case, you cannot use Find and Replace; instead you must simply change the date value stored in the cell.

If you want a quick way to change the month names in the worksheet tabs, that is a bit trickier. Excel's find and replace feature won't find or replace the text in tab names. Normally they need to be done by hand, but if you have many of them, you may want to create a macro that will do the changing for you. The following macro prompts you for the text you are searching for and the text you want to replace it with. Then, it steps through each worksheet tab and makes the changes for you.

Sub TabReplace()
    Dim I As Integer, J As Integer
    Dim sFind As String
    Dim sReplace As String
    Dim sTemp As String

    sFind = InputBox("Text to find?")
    sReplace = InputBox("Replace it with?")

    If (sFind & sReplace) = "" Then Exit Sub

    For I = 1 To Sheets.Count
        sTemp = Sheets(I).Name
        J = InStr(sTemp, sFind)
        While J > 0
            sTemp = Left(sTemp, J - 1) & sReplace _
              & Mid(sTemp, (J + Len(sFind)))
            J = InStr(sTemp, sFind)
        Wend

        If sTemp <> Sheets(I).Name Then
            Sheets(I).Name = sTemp
        End If
    Next I
End Sub

Even though the steps (and macro) presented here can make the job of updating your workbook easier, it may be easier still to simply rethink how you do your workbook. It may be easier to set up a cell to contain the current month's name, and then reference that name in the appropriate cells throughout the workbook. Then, all you need to do is change the month name in a single cell, and it will be changed elsewhere, automatically. In other ExcelTips you even learned how you can dynamically change a tab name based on the contents of a particular cell.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12275) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Changing Months in a Workbook.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Leading Spaces in Document File Names

If you try to add spaces to the beginning of a document's file name, Word normally strips them away. This tip examines two ...

Discover More

Finding the Analysis ToolPak Add-In

The Analysis ToolPak is used to add some very handy capabilities to Excel. If you don't have it installed, and you can't find ...

Discover More

Selecting Fonts for a Chart

When formatting a chart, you might want to change the characteristics of the font used in various chart elements. This can be ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Can't Empty the Clipboard

The Clipboard is essential to move or copy information from one place in Excel to another. If you get an error when you try ...

Discover More

Errors when Copying References to External Cells

If you copy a cell that contains a reference to external data, do you get an error? It could be due to the complexity of the ...

Discover More

Displaying a Hidden First Row

If you hide the first rows of a worksheet, you may have a hard time getting those rows visible again. Here's a simple way to ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 + 2?

2016-07-23 11:31:43

Willy Vanhaelen

The macro in is typ is way to complex and can be simplified a lot:

Sub TabReplace()
Dim sht As Object, sFind As String, sReplace As String
sFind = InputBox("Text to find?")
sReplace = InputBox("Replace it with?")
If (sFind & sReplace) = "" Then Exit Sub
For Each sht In Sheets
sht.Name = Replace(sht.Name, sFind, sReplace)
Next sht
End Sub

The one-line Replace function in my version does the job of the whole While ... Wend structure in the macro of this typ reducing it's size to less than half and making it easier to understand.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.