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.

Copying a Worksheet

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 13, 2019)

6

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) 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.

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

Specifying a Number of Matches

The wild card searching capabilities of Word are amazing. One thing you can do with wild cards is to specify not only a ...

Discover More

Making Suggestions to Microsoft about Word

Got an idea for making Word a better program? Microsoft wants to hear from you and has created a website to solicit your ...

Discover More

Excel Filters and Filtering

Excel provides two ways to filter your data so that only what you want to see is displayed. Discover how filtering works ...

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)

Automatically Renaming Worksheets

Excel allows you to easily add and remove worksheets from a workbook. You may want a way to automatically rename all of ...

Discover More

Determining a Worksheet's Number

When you add a new worksheet to a workbook, it receives a meaningful name such as "Sheet4" or "Sheet17." If you want to ...

Discover More

Dynamically Changing Worksheet Tab Color

Excel makes it easy to change the color of a worksheet's tab. If you want that color change to be dynamic, one way to do ...

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 1 + 7?

2019-11-15 07:48:44

Alan Elston

@Alison,
Maybe it is a bit dependant on what you want to do and how you organise your stuff.
More often than not I would be doing something along the lines of what Allan and Allen Wyatt are talking about.
Bu also, once a day, most days , I do something more along the lines of your SaveAs: I save a copy of the first worksheet of a main file. I do it with a few simple lines of coding which adds the current date to the file name of the copy

Something like this

Sub SaveAsMe_xlsx() ' https://excelribbon.tips.net/T012359_Copying_a_Worksheet.html
ThisWorkbook.Worksheets.Item(1).Copy ' This brings up a worksheet in the Excel you have open. In the next line we can save it as a File with whatever name we want
ActiveWorkbook.SaveAs Filename:="" & ThisWorkbook.Path & "\" & Replace(ThisWorkbook.Name, ".xlsm", "", 1, 1, vbBinaryCompare) & "_" & Replace(Format(Date, "dddd dd mmmm dd mm yyyy"), "ä", "ae", 1, 1, vbBinaryCompare) & ".xlsx", FileFormat:=xlOpenXMLWorkbook, CreateBackup:=False
ActiveWorkbook.Close
End Sub


Alan Elston


2019-11-14 13:38:41

Allan

Alison,
Yes ,I think you are missing something. I use Allen's method many, many times, as most of the time I want to make changes, etc. to the original Worksheet. I can also place them side-by-side to examine the changes.


2019-11-13 09:05:20

Alison J Miller

Would it not be easier to just click on file - Save As - and save it with whatever name you want? There's your copy...am I missing something?


2016-10-30 03:45:02

Jeff Hill

I move & copy sheets in excel 2007 regularly and distribute a workbook with several sheets to people who are still using excel 2003. Not really suitable for pdf. What is the best way to copy a sheet or sheets [values only] from a excel 2007 to an excel 2003 workbook?


2016-04-11 12:10:21

Ann

Another advantage of using the Crtl key to copy worksheets is that it maintains formatting better.


2016-04-09 05:04:58

Petros

VBA code stored in worksheets (document modules) can be read from workbooks with unprotected structure (Review>Protect Workbook), even if the VBA project is password locked or unviewable. Read about the hack here:

http://www.spreadsheet1.com/read-document-vba.html


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.