I have been working with Excel for over twenty years after finally weaning myself off of Lotus 1-2-3 way back in the Dark Ages. It is amazing to me that I continue to discovery hidden tidbits of information that make Excel easier to use. If you ever sat through any of my presentations on Excel Tips and Tricks, you probably know that I am a Keyboard Shortcut advocate (bigot?). But, my favorite Excel Tip isn’t a keyboard shortcut.
Whenever someone asks me to review a spreadsheet so see if I can help them with something, the first thing I do is make a copy of it. Thirty plus years of working with computers has taught me (the hard way a few times I am sorry to say) to backup something first so after I screw it up, I can get back to where I was to start with. I wholeheartedly recommend this be your standard procedure, also.
In Excel, this is really easy to do. You probably already know three or four ways to do it without my tip. I won’t bother to tell you all those other tedious, boring ways to do it, just my favorite. This is one of those tips someone has to tell you. It is a combination of keyboard and mouse.
Here’s how it works. Open a workbook in Excel. At the bottom left, you have all the tabs for the different worksheets in the workbook. Find the one sheet you want to copy and make it the active sheet. Hold down the Control key then click and drag the worksheet, right or left, to where you want to drop the copy. As you drag it, you will notice a tiny icon appear by your mouse cursor that is a sheet with a plus sign in it. Drag the sheet and watch the black triangle insert pointer move as you move left or right. When you get to where you want the copy to be, let go of the mouse button and you have a complete identical copy of the original sheet. The tab is named with the original name followed by “(2)”. If you make multiple copies of the original, the suffix increments accordingly.
That’s it. Simple, easy to remember. I use it all the time. I hope this helps you, too.
If you have a trick you use in Excel or Word, send it to me. We will pick a good one and give you recognition for your contribution in our newsletter with a link to your tip that will be published in our blog. If it is a trick I haven’t seen before, you will get special recognition.
Keep on Excelling!
Darrell Scott Senior Consultant CS3 Technology