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.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

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

Character Limits for Cells

Excel places limits on how much information you can enter into a cell and how much of that information it will display. ...

Discover More

Making Live URLs Into Normal Text

Convert those URLs into regular text! It's easy to do when you follow the steps in this tip.

Discover More

Clearing the Undo Stack in a Macro

Excel keeps track of the actions you take so that you can undo those actions if any are taken in error. You may want to ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Viewing Your Work Full-Screen

Want to use the maximum space possible for displaying information on screen? You'll want to learn how to use the ...

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 ...

Discover More

Checking for a Value in a Cell

Need to figure out if a cell contains a number so that your formula makes sense? (Perhaps it would return an error if the ...

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 three less than 5?

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.