Workbook in Excel (Ultimate Guide)

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In order to organize our data, we use a workbook in Excel. If you want to know what is a workbook in Excel, I will recommend you to go through the whole article. In this article, I will try to give a complete overview of a workbook in Excel.

Workbook in Excel

Download Practice Workbook

You can download the practice workbook from here.

Introduction of Workbook in Excel: A Complete Guide for Beginners

In Excel, a workbook is nothing but a compilation of multiple worksheets. The worksheets also consist of cells, rows, and columns. We can calculate data, generate graphs, store data, etc.

Workbook in Excel

Creating a New Workbook

Whether you’re managing budgets, tracking sales, or conducting complex calculations, a blank workbook provides a flexible canvas to modify your spreadsheet according to your specific needs. So, it’s greatly helpful. To create this,

  • First, double-click on the Excel shortcut icon to start the application.

Clicking on Excel Icon

  • After opening the apps, the Backstage view will appear. The Home option is open now.
  • Click on Blank workbook in the New section.

Creating Blank Workbook from Home tab

  • Alternatively, you can go to the New option and select Blank Workbook.

Creating Blank Workbook from New tab

Note: Press CTRL + N on your keyboard to create a new file.

That’s all it takes! You’ve successfully created a freshly new workbook.

Creating a New Workbook

Create a Workbook from Templates

Templates offer ready-made structures for various tasks. By selecting a template, you can easily customize it to suit your specific needs and focus on the content or data you want to input.

  • Open the Backstage view and go to the New option.
  • Then select a template that fulfills your need. In this case, we’ve selected the Personal monthly budget template.

Selecting Template to have a New Workbook

  • Instantly, a preview window will appear with the outlook and description of this template.
  • Just click on Create.

Creating a New Workbook from Template

That’s how you can simply create a workbook with the template. Also, you can make changes to it to make it more adaptive.

Opening an Existing Workbook

Here, we’ll show how we can open an existing workbook that is already created and stored on our PC.

  • In the Backstage view, click Open >> Browse.

Browsing for a Previously Created Workbook

  • From the Open dialog box, you can find your desired Excel workbook. Here, we found our preferred file from the directory.
  • Then click Open.

Selecting a Workbook to Open

By doing these, you can easily open an existing file in Excel.

If you worked with the file in contemporary times, you can find this in the recent files.

  • In the Open section, click on the Recent As a result, you can see the files with those you worked on recently. From these, choose your needed one to open.

Opening a Workbook from the recently worked workbook

Pinning and Unpinning a Workbook

This feature comes in handy when you have to access and manage your most frequently used or important files. By pinning a workbook, you can keep it readily accessible in the Recent Documents list.

  • In the Backstage view, click Open >> Recent.

Going to Recent to Pin a workbook

On the right side of the display, you can see the name of the Excel files.

  • Now hover the mouse over the file name of the workbook which you want to pin. You can see a pushpin icon next to the file. Just click on it.

 Pinning a Workbook

Since then, you can see this file in the Pinned section.

  • Again, click on this pushpin icon to unpin the file. It will be removed from the Pinned section then.

unpinning a workbook

Converting a Workbook

Normally a workbook remains in ‘.xlsx’  format when we open a new workbook. We can convert the workbook to other formats.

  • Go to the Save As tab from the backstage view.
  • Then click on the extension key of the file format.
  • Pick any one of the available formats and click on Save.

Converting a Workbook

Saving a Workbook

We can save an Excel workbook quite easily.

  • Go to the Save As tab from the backstage view.
  • Now click on Browse and define a location in your PC to save a workbook.

Saving a Workbook in Excel

Using an Existing Workbook as Template

You will be amazed to know that you can use any other created Excel file on your PC as a template. Then you can edit it as your preference. This will help too much save time and effort.

  • If you want to use a recent file as a template, click on the Recent option.
  • On the right side pane, right-click on the preferred file which you’ll use as the template. On the context menu, select Open a copy.

Using an Existing Workbook as Template

This will create a copy of the workbook. The original file will be intact. And you can use the copy as a template.

Renaming a Workbook

We can rename a workbook quite easily.

  • Go to the Save As option from the File tab.
  • Click on This PC from the Other locations section.
  • Now, rename the workbook and click on Save.

Renaming a Workbook

Renaming Worksheet of a Workbook

To rename a worksheet of a workbook, just follow the following procedures.

  • Select the Worksheet name and Right-click on the mouse.
  • Click on the Rename option.

Renaming the worksheet

Inserting New Worksheet in a Workbook

In order to create a new worksheet in a workbook, just click on the plus (+) sign.

Inserting New Worksheet in a Worksheet

Deleting Worksheet of a Workbook

To delete a worksheet of a workbook, just follow the following procedures.

  • Select the Worksheet name and Right-click on the mouse.
  • Click on the Delete option.

Deleting a worksheet

How to Open Workbook with Compatibility Mode

The primary purpose of compatibility mode is to improve backward compatibility. It ensures that older software can still function appropriately on the running operating system version without any major issues.
Sometimes, you need to work with files created in earlier versions of Excel or in a different file format. At this time, you have to open the file in Compatibility Mode. It enables seamless collaboration and ensures compatibility across different versions of Excel.
When you open an older version Excel file, you will see multiple features are greyed out. Because they are not compatible with this version of Excel.

Preview of not having Compatibility Mode

  • Use the File tab to go to the Backstage view.
  • Click on Info >> Convert.

Opening the Compatibility Mode

  • In the message box, click OK.

Applying the Compatibility Mode

Now, it’s clearly visible that all options are active in the converted copy of the previous file. So, it’s accordant to the current version of Excel.

Output of Applying Compatibility Mode

Things to Remember

  • By default, a new Excel workbook includes one worksheet tab. You can add more spreadsheets by clicking the “+” button next to the existing tab or using the shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + N.
  • You can back up your workbook by toggling on the AutoSave It’ll save the workbook on the OneDrive cloud.
  • You can search for Templates by Category in Excel. Use these templates to save time and ensure consistency in formatting and structure.


In this article, I have tried to give a complete overview of a workbook in Excel. I hope this article will be helpful for you. For any further questions, please comment below. You can also visit our site for more Excel-related articles.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I create multiple workbooks in Excel?
Yes, you can create multiple workbooks in Excel. Each workbook functions as a separate file and can contain multiple worksheets within it.

2. Can I customize the appearance of my workbook?
Yes, you can customize the appearance of your workbook in Excel. Excel offers themes and styles to enhance the overall look of your workbook.

3. Can I change the order of worksheets within a workbook?
Yes, you can. To do so, click on a worksheet tab and drag it to the desired position within the workbook. Release the mouse button to move the worksheet to the new location.

Workbook in Excel: Knowledge Hub

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Seemanto Saha
Seemanto Saha

Seemanto Saha graduated in Industrial and Production Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. He has been with ExcelDemy for a year, where he wrote 40+ articles and reviewed 50+ articles. He has also worked on the ExcelDemy Forum and solved 50+ user problems. Currently, he is working as a team leader for ExcelDemy. His role is to guide his team to write reader-friendly content. His interests are Advanced Excel, Data Analysis, Charts & Dashboards, Power Query,... Read Full Bio

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