Worksheet tools

Last week I talked about what worksheets are, why they’re interesting, and how to navigate them. This week I’m going to address a variety of things you can do with them, and how to do those things in various programs.

The exact phrasing and location varies by program, but each of the following worksheet tools should appear somewhere in most spreadsheet programs. The vast majority of them will appear in a menu that you reach by right-clicking the tab with the name of the worksheet. This tab is usually located in the lower left part of the screen, as shown in the image to the right.

  • Insert: Adding a new, blank worksheet.
  • Delete: Removing an entire worksheet.
  • Rename: Changing the name of the worksheet. This changes both what appears on the tab (usually Sheet# by default), and how other worksheets refer to cells in the renamed worksheet.
  • Copy within this spreadsheet: Make an identical copy of the worksheet. This can be useful when doing a lot of very similar things, where you’re only changing one or two variables but want the general structure the same.
  • Copy to another spreadsheet: Make an identical copy of the worksheet in a different spreadsheet entirely. It can be a new spreadsheet, or an existing one.
  • Move within this spreadsheet:Change the order of the tabs.
  • Move to another spreadsheet: Moves the entire worksheet to a different spreadsheet. Any cells in the original spreadsheet which reference that worksheet will now either be referencing another file or be broken, depending on the program.

In the program-specific instructions below, if I say “In tab menu” I mean “In the menu that appears when you right-click on the tab that identifies the worksheet you want to do something to,” as shown in this picture.

In Excel 97 and 2007:

  • Insert: In tab menu: click “Insert…”
  • Delete: In tab menu: click “Delete”
  • Rename: In tab menu: click “Rename”
  • Copy within this spreadsheet: In tab menu: click “Move or Copy”
  • Copy to another spreadsheet: In tab menu: click “Move or Copy”
  • Move within this spreadsheet: Left-click on the tab and drag it horizontally to the desired location/order position.
  • Move to another spreadsheet: In tab menu: click “Move or Copy”

In Google Spreadsheet:

  • Insert: Click on the “Insert” header, then on “New Sheet”
  • Delete: In tab menu: click on “Delete”
  • Rename: In tab menu: click on “Rename…”
  • Copy within this spreadsheet: In tab menu: click on “Duplicate”
  • Copy to another spreadsheet: In tab menu: click on “Copy to”
  • Move within this spreadsheet: Left-click on the tab and drag it horizontally to the desired location/order position.
  • Move to another spreadsheet: Not offered, but you can copy to and then delete the original.

In OpenOffice Calc:

  • Insert: In tab menu: click “Insert Sheet…”
  • Delete: In tab menu: click “Delete Sheet…”
  • Rename: In tab menu: click “Rename Sheet…”
  • Copy within this spreadsheet: In tab menu: click on “Move/Copy Sheet…”
  • Copy to another spreadsheet: In tab menu: click on “Move/Copy Sheet…”
  • Move within this spreadsheet: Left-click on the tab and drag it horizontally to the desired location/order position.
  • Move to another spreadsheet: In tab menu: click on “Move/Copy Sheet…”

Microsoft Works Spreadsheet: Worksheets are not offered.

Some of these might have another one or two steps beyond what I’m describing here, but they should be fairly intuitive. If anyone has trouble just leave a comment and I’ll clarify!