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: Alphabetizing Worksheet Tabs.

Alphabetizing Worksheet Tabs

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 17, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Pat wonders if there is a quick way to alphabetize the worksheets in her workbook. There is no built-in method to do this, but it is possible to use a macro to do the sorting for you. I'll present two approaches in this tip. The first provides a simple way to do the sorting.

Sub SortSheets1()
    Dim I As Integer
    Dim J As Integer

    For I = 1 To Sheets.Count - 1
        For J = I + 1 To Sheets.Count
            If UCase(Sheets(I).Name) > UCase(Sheets(J).Name) Then
                Sheets(J).Move Before:=Sheets(I)
            End If
        Next J
    Next I
End Sub

This macro sorts the worksheet tabs by name in ascending order. If you want to sort them in descending order, all you need to do is change the > in the center line to <.

The macro works great if you have a relatively low number of worksheets in your workbook. If, when you run the macro, you note that it takes a great deal of time to run, you may want to use a more efficient sorting algorithm in the macro. For instance, the following is a version that reads the names of all the worksheets into an array, sorts the array using the BubbleSort algorithm, and then does the actual arranging:

Sub SortSheets2()
    Dim I As Integer
    Dim sMySheets() As String
    Dim iNumSheets As Integer

    iNumSheets = Sheets.Count
    Redim sMySheets(1 To iNumSheets)

    For I = 1 To iNumSheets
        sMySheets(I) = Sheets(I).Name
    Next I

    BubbleSort sMySheets

    For I = 1 To iNumSheets
        Sheets(sMySheets(I)).Move Before:=Sheets(I)
    Next I
End Sub
Sub BubbleSort(sToSort() As String)
    Dim Lower As Integer
    Dim Upper As Integer
    Dim I As Integer
    Dim J As Integer
    Dim K As Integer
    Dim Temp As String

    Lower = LBound(sToSort)
    Upper = UBound(sToSort)
    For I = Lower To Upper - 1
        K = I
        For J = I + 1 To Upper
            If sToSort(K) > sToSort(J) Then
                K = J
            End If
        Next J
        If I <> K Then
            Temp = sToSort(I)
            sToSort(I) = sToSort(K)
            sToSort(K) = Temp
        End If
    Next I
End Sub

Anyone who has programmed for some time knows that BubbleSort is a good general-purpose sorting routine, but there are faster ones available. For instance, if you have quite a few worksheets, and they start out very disorganized, you may find that the QuickSort algorithm is more beneficial. All you would need to do to change the above to use QuickSort is add the QuickSort algorithm as a subroutine (you can find the algorithm in any good Visual Basic programming book) and then call the procedure from within the main SortSheets macro. (This means changing the line where BubbleSort is now called.)

There is another difference between this second macro and the first. The first macro does not pay attention to the case of the text used to name your worksheets. Thus, MyWorksheet would be viewed the same as MYWORKsheet. The second macro does pay attention to text case, and sorts accordingly. Of course, this is not a particularly big issue, since Excel doesn't pay attention to case in worksheet names, either.

Just a quick note: The BubbleSort routine shown above is general-purpose in nature. That means it will work for sorting any array, not just for sorting the names of worksheet tabs.

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 (13440) 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: Alphabetizing Worksheet Tabs.

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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