How to Perform Tab Navigation in Excel (8 Easy Ways)

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Here are two simple ways to navigate worksheet tabs in Excel:

  1. To move to the adjacent sheet tabs, press Ctrl+PgDn to move to the next sheet, and press Ctrl+PgUp to move to the previous sheet.
  2. To move to any particular sheet, irrespective of the tab position, go to the bottom left corner of the sheet > right-click on it to open the Activate dialog box > choose any particular sheet that you want to move to > press OK.

Tab navigation in Excel enables users to easily switch between different worksheets or tabs within a workbook. Each sheet is represented by a tab located at the bottom of the Excel window. This feature allows users to efficiently access and manipulate various sets of data, calculations, or information within the same workbook.

In this Excel tutorial, you will learn various techniques to improve your ability to navigate between worksheet tabs in Excel.

Consider a workbook that consists of three worksheets: “Employee Info,” “Revenue,” and “Profit,”. Here, I have moved from one sheet to another using the tab navigation button from the Activate dialog box.

Tab Navigation in Excel

To perform tab navigation, follow these methods below:


Clicking on Sheet Name

This method is widely used for tab navigation in Excel. You can switch between sheets by simply left-clicking on the sheet names.

To perform this action, follow the steps below:

  1. To begin with, place the cursor on the name of the desired worksheet.
    In this case, we will place the cursor on the “Revenue” tab.
  2. Then, left-click on it.clicking on sheet name to perform tab navigation in excel

As a result, the “Revenue” sheet will be the active sheet.

clicking on sheet name to perform tab navigation in excel


Using Keyboard Shortcut

You can employ a basic keyboard shortcut to navigate worksheets in Excel. This approach is efficient for navigating to adjacent (previous or next) sheets in Excel.

To navigate to adjacent worksheets, follow the given instructions:

  1. Press Ctrl + PgDn on the Employee Info tab to move to the right.
    using keyboard shortcut to perform tab navigation in excelAs a result, we will go from the “Employee Info” to the “Revenue” sheet.
    using keyboard shortcut to perform tab navigation in excel
  2. Next, press Ctrl + PgUp on the “Revenue” tab.
    using keyboard shortcut to perform tab navigation in excel

Consequently, it will take you to the “Employee Info” sheet.


Using Activate Dialog Box

The Activate dialog box is helpful for worksheet tab navigation. As you access the Activate dialog box, a list of the sheet names will be displayed. Then, you can select any sheet to navigate between sheets.

To navigate worksheet tabs using the Activate dialog box, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the bottom left corner of the sheet.
  2. Then, right-click on it.
    implementing activate sheet option to perform tab navigation in excelAs a result, the Activate dialog box will appear with a list of the existing sheets of the workbook.
  3. Now, select your preferred sheet from the list and press OK.implementing activate sheet option to perform tab navigation in excel

Consequently, Excel will take us to our desired sheet.

implementing activate sheet option to perform tab navigation in excel


Applying Hyperlink to Navigate Tabs

You can establish a connection between two sheets by linking the cell value of one sheet to the corresponding link of another sheet. By clicking on the cell value, Excel will navigate us to the linked sheet.

To navigate worksheets by applying hyperlinks, follow the provided steps:

  1. Right-click on the desired sheet name where you have kept your particular sheet.
    In this case, we have selected the
    F5 cell.
  2. Next, select Link from the context menu.
    As a result, a prompt will be opened.applying hyperlink to perform tab navigation in excelThis will open the Insert Link dialog box.
  3. In the Insert Link dialog box:
    • Go to Place in This Document.
    • Then, write your desired cell (in this case, cell B2) in the Type the cell reference box.
    • After that, click on the desired sheet (in this case, the “Revenue” sheet) that you want to link.
    • Finally, click on OK.

    applying hyperlink to perform tab navigation in excelAs a result, the two sheets will be linked together.

  4. Now, click on the value in your specified cell.
    applying hyperlink to perform tab navigation in excel

As a result, Excel will take us to the “Revenue” sheet.

applying hyperlink to perform tab navigation in excel


Using Navigation Pane

The Navigation Pane in Excel is useful for finding and accessing various objects such as worksheets, tables, charts, images, etc.

To navigate worksheet tabs using the Navigation Pane, apply the following steps:

  1. Go to the View tab.
  2. Select the Navigation command under the Show option.
    As a result, the list of the prevailing worksheets will appear on the right side of the active sheet.
  3. Next, click on the sheet where you want to go.

As a result, it will move to that sheet.


Using Name Box

We can use the Name Box to specify the name of either a cell or a cell range. In this method, we will assign a name to a single cell on each sheet within the Name Box. Then, we will utilize the Name Box to facilitate tab navigation in Excel.

To perform this action, follow the steps below:

  1. Select the desired cell (in this case, cell B2) in the Employee Info sheet.
  2. Then, go to the Name Box and define the name as EmployeeInfoB2.
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Next, select the B2 cell from the “Revenue” sheet and name it RevenueB2.
  5. Finally, name the B2 cell of the “Profit” sheet as ProfitB2 in the Name Box.
  6. Now, go to the Name Box from the Employee Info sheet and click on the drop-down sign.
    As a result, we will see the names defined in the drop-down list.
  7. Now, click on the RevenueB2 option from the drop-down.

As a result, Excel will take us to the B2 cell of the “Revenue” sheet.


Using Go To Dialogue Box

The Go To dialog box in Excel is also able to navigate between worksheet tabs. The Go To dialog box will ask for the cell reference of the desired sheet, and once the command is executed, it will take us directly to that specific sheet.

To accomplish this action, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the Home tab.
  2. Select Find & Select from the Editing group.
  3. Now, from the drop-down list, choose Go To.
    As a result, a prompt will be on the screen.
  4. In the Reference field, type “Revenue!B2.”
  5. Then, click OK.Write Reference in the Go To dialog box

Consequently, we will end up in the B2 cell of the “Revenue” sheet.

Note: In the Reference field, make sure to add a ”!” symbol after the Sheet name


Using Dedicated Navigation Button

If your workbook contains numerous worksheet tabs, you may find it difficult to swiftly navigate to either the first or final sheet within the workbook.

In previous versions of Excel, such as Excel 2010, this task was easy due to the presence of dedicated buttons for scrolling to the first or last sheet in the workbook. From Excel 2013 to the newer version, the dedicated buttons for navigating to the first or last sheet are no longer available.

If you still use Excel 2010 or lower versions, you can use these buttons to navigate to the first and last worksheet tabs in your workbook.

Use dedicated navigation buttons


Download Practice Worksheet

You can download the practice workbook here.


Conclusion

In this article, we have shown 8 different ways to perform tab navigation in Excel. These methods will allow users to switch between tabs easily and efficiently. If you have any questions regarding this essay, feel free to let us know in the comments.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I customize the appearance of sheet tabs for better organization?

Yes, you can! Right-click on a sheet tab, select “Tab Color,” and choose from a variety of colors to enhance visual organization. This customization helps identify and locate specific sheets quickly.

What’s the significance of naming tabs in Excel?

Renaming tabs with descriptive titles improves navigation clarity. Right-click on a sheet tab, select “Rename,” and enter a meaningful name. This practice is especially helpful in complex workbooks.

How do I navigate between open workbooks using Excel’s ribbon interface?

In the “View” tab, within the “Window” group, use the “SwitchWindows” dropdown to navigate between open workbooks. This feature is useful when dealing with multiple Excel files.

How do I protect certain sheets in Excel to prevent accidental changes during navigation?

Right-click on a sheet tab, select “Protect Sheet, and set a password if needed. This ensures that only authorized users can make changes to protected sheets, adding a layer of security to your workbook.


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Adnan Masruf
Adnan Masruf

Adnan Masruf, holding a BSc in Naval Architecture & Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, plays a pivotal role as an Excel & VBA Content Developer at ExcelDemy. His deep passion for research and innovation seamlessly aligns with his dedication to Excel. In this capacity, Masruf not only skillfully addresses challenging issues but also exhibits enthusiasm and expertise in gracefully navigating intricate situations, underscoring his steadfast commitment to consistently delivering exceptional content. His interests... Read Full Bio

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