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: Copying a Worksheet.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 9, 2016)
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:
Figure 1. The Move or Copy dialog box.
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) 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, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Copying a Worksheet.
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