Spreadsheets have become essential tools in the operation of every enterprise for the organization, analysis, and storage of data. Today, Microsoft Excel is the most popular spreadsheet software individuals and corporations use for accounting, tracking attendance, programming, data management, graphing, and organizing records.


If you use Microsoft Excel to create and manage your spreadsheets, you’ve heard the terms worksheet and workbook. While you can always take a Microsoft Excel certification course, we’re here to help you understand the basics. This article will discuss workbooks, how they differ from worksheets, and how to create and manage a workbook in Microsoft Excel.


What Is a Workbook in Excel?


A worksheet in Microsoft Excel is a single document comprising a grid of cells organized into rows and columns. In worksheets, you can enter and manipulate data. The cells in an Excel worksheet can contain text, numbers, dates, or formulas.


In Excel, a workbook refers to a document containing one or more worksheets. This is called a workbook because it is a group of worksheets that may be treated as the pages of a book. Within the different worksheets, you can have different types of Excel data types, but all combine to make one workbook.


To create a workbook, simply launch the Microsoft Excel program. Anytime you launch Microsoft Excel, the program automatically starts a default workbook named ‘book1.’


Using an Excel Workbook


Excel is one of the essential data analytics programs, and creating multiple worksheets in a single workbook helps businesses keep their data more organized. Here are the most basic operations:


Adding Worksheets to a Workbook


If you create a workbook in Excel, the program displays a set of tabs at the bottom of the screen. To add a new worksheet to your workbook, click the ‘+’ button next to the tabs at the bottom of the screen. 


Alternatively, you can use simple Excel functions to add a new worksheet. First, click the ‘Home’ tab on the ribbon menu, select Insert, then select ‘Insert Sheet.’ A new sheet will automatically be added to your workbook. You can also use these tabs to switch between the worksheets by clicking on the tab you want to work on.


Renaming Sheets in the Workbook


When you create new worksheets, Excel automatically names them Sheet 2, Sheet 3, and so on. To rename any sheet in your workbook, find where its name is written on the tab at the bottom. You can double-click there or right-click on its tab and select ‘Rename.’ In the pop-up window, clear the existing name and enter your preferred name for the worksheet.


Referencing Sheets in a Workbook


Excel allows different worksheets in a workbook to be referenced, and you can reference the cells in one worksheet on another worksheet.


To reference in Excel, you need the name of the worksheet and the cell or cells you want to reference. For example, to reference cell B6 from a worksheet named ‘OperationalCost’ in B12 of a worksheet named ‘Total Cost,’ in the B12 of Total Cost, type ‘=OperationalCost!B6.’


Deleting a Worksheet from a Workbook


If, in the process of creating a workbook, you have worksheets you no longer need, you can delete them by right-clicking on its tab at the bottom of the screen and selecting ‘Delete.’


Alternatively, you can open the sheet by clicking on the ‘Home’ tab in the ribbon menu at the top of the screen, clicking on the ‘Delete’ option, then selecting ‘Delete Sheet.’ Any options you choose will remove the worksheet and any data it holds from your workbook. 


In a Nutshell


Workbook in Excel is a great tool that can provide a variety of functions to make the task of handling data easier. By creating multiple worksheets in a single document, workbooks allow users to better organize, store, and work with structured data.

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