Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Copying a Worksheet.

Copying a Worksheet

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 18, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


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There are many times I have needed to duplicate a worksheet. Often it is because I have spent quite a bit of time developing a worksheet and I want to use it as a starting point for another. Excel lets you copy worksheets in the following manner:

  1. Right-click on the worksheet tab of the worksheet you want to copy. Excel displays a Context menu.
  2. Choose Move or Copy Sheet from the Context menu. Word displays the Move or Copy dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Move or Copy dialog box.

  4. If you want to copy the worksheet to another workbook, select that workbook's name in the To Book pull-down list. (The target workbook must be open within Excel.)
  5. In the Before Sheet list, select the worksheet that should come after the worksheet you selected in step 1.
  6. Make sure the Create a Copy check box is selected.
  7. Click on OK. The worksheets are reordered.

There is a faster way to copy worksheets in the same workbook. All you need to do is hold down the Ctrl key as you drag a worksheet tab to a new position in the workbook. Excel automatically copies the worksheet to the new position, leaving the old sheet intact.

There is also a "gotcha" here that you need to be aware of: Excel can sometimes balk if you try to copy a worksheet from a workbook saved in Excel's native format to a workbook that is saved in the older (pre-2007, XLS) format. This is because Excel can handle, currently, many, many more rows and columns in a worksheet than it could in earlier years. That means that when you try to transfer, Excel needs to let you know that it will truncate some data that may be in areas not supported in the earlier-formatted workbook.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12359) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Copying a Worksheet.

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 9 - 3?

2022-06-20 20:01:50

Tomek

@Ken Copenhaver
Your solution is not 100% equivalent to Ctrl+dragging the sheet, nor to the first method described by Allen. In particular it does not keep the sheet macros, like sheet event handlers. On the other hand, knowing that you can use the difference for your advantage.

Just as a point of interest, copying and pasting the all of the sheet works slightly differently than selecting, copying and pasting a smaller range. Among other things, the latter does not keep row heights and column widths.


2022-06-20 16:16:13

Ken Copenhaver

You can also simply select all the data in the worksheet to be copied (Ctrl + a) and copy/paste the data to a new worksheet.


2022-06-19 12:13:18

Tomek

Dragging the sheet with the mouse works also between two open workbooks, as long as they are visible on the screen. With Ctrl, it will create a copy in the destination workbook, renaming the sheet to avoid duplicates. Without Ctrl, it will move the sheet between workbooks. You can even move or copy several sheets at once, just select them first.
Beware that if you move all remaining sheets from a workbook, that workbook will automatically close.
These move/copy operations cannot be undone by Ctrl+Z.

Another gotcha is related to what happens to any existing named ranges, especially if they exist in both workbooks. But this is a whole different story.


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