How to Rename a Sheet in Excel

Last Updated: March 20, 2024

- Written by Puneet

Excel is a widely used tool in various fields, from business to academia, for its powerful data management and analysis capabilities.

One of the basic skills of using Excel is understanding how to rename a sheet. Doing so can help you keep your work organized and easy to understand.

Today, we’ll walk you through the process step by step.

Rename a Sheet from the Option Menu

The default way to rename a sheet is to use the right-click options menu. See the steps below:

  1. First, click on the sheet you want to rename. Once you click it, it will be activated.
  2. Next, Right-click on the sheet tab to open the right menu. From that menu, click on the “Rename” option.
  3. Use the Delete key to delete the old name and type the new name you want to add to that sheet.
  4. In the end, to apply the name, hit the Enter key.

Keyboard Shortcut to Rename a Sheet in Excel

There is also a keyboard shortcut that you can use to rename a sheet in Excel.

This can be especially handy if you’re working with multiple sheets and need to quickly rename them without using your mouse.


Here are the step-by-step instructions:

Make sure you’re on the Excel sheet you want to rename. You can navigate between sheets using the Ctrl + Page Down shortcut to move to the next sheet or Ctrl + Page Up to move to the previous one.

Once you’re on the sheet you want to rename, press Alt + H + O + R on your keyboard.

This specific combination of keys is a shortcut to Excel’s “Rename Sheet” option.

  • The Alt + H shortcut opens the “Home” tab in the ribbon.
  • The O key selects the “Format” option under the “Cells” group.
  • The R key finally selects the “Rename Sheet” option.

After pressing these keys, a dialog box will open with the current name of the sheet highlighted.

Type the new name for your sheet in the dialog box.

Once you’ve typed the new name, press Enter on your keyboard. The dialog box will close, and your sheet now has the new name you just typed.

Double Click of Rename a Sheet

You can also double-click the mouse to edit the sheet’s name and rename it later.

  1. Open Excel Workbook: Begin by opening your Excel workbook. At the bottom of the window, you will see various sheet tabs. By default, these are named “Sheet1”, “Sheet2”, and so on, depending on the number of sheets in your workbook.
  2. Double-Click on the Tab: Identify the sheet you want to rename and double-click on its tab. This action will highlight the current name, enabling you to edit it.
  3. Delete the Existing Name: With the existing name highlighted, you can now type in the new name for your sheet. Delete the existing name and replace it with your desired name.
  4. Enter New Name: Once you enter the new name, press the Enter key on your keyboard. This action will save your changes, and the sheet will now be renamed according to the new name you’ve inputted.

If you need to rename more sheets, simply repeat the process for each sheet you wish to rename.

Using the Format Options

In the same way, you can rename a worksheet using the format option from the ribbon.


Below is a detailed step-by-step guide on how to do this:

  1. Open the Excel Workbook: Begin by opening the Excel workbook that contains the sheet you want to rename. You can do this by locating the file on your computer, double-clicking it, or by opening Excel and selecting ‘Open’ from the ‘File’ menu, then navigating to the correct file.
  2. Select the Sheet to Rename: Once your workbook is open, you will see tabs for each sheet at the bottom of the Excel window. These tabs are labeled with the sheet’s name. Click on the tab of the sheet you want to rename to select it.
  3. Right-click on the Sheet Tab: After selecting the sheet, right-click on its tab at the bottom of the window. This will open a context menu with various options.
  4. Select ‘Rename’ from the Menu: In the context menu, find and click on the ‘Rename’ option. This will highlight the sheet’s name.
  5. Type the New Name: With the old name of the sheet highlighted, you can now type in your desired new name. As you type, the old name will be replaced by what you are typing.
  6. Press ‘Enter’ to Save the New Name: After typing the new name, press the ‘Enter’ key on your keyboard to save it. The tab at the bottom of the window will now display the new name of the sheet.

Just like all the other methods, you need to activate the sheet first to use this method.

You can also use VBA to rename a sheet.

Rules You Need to Know (Naming a Sheet)

You need to follow a few rules when renaming a sheet.

  1. Unique Names per Workbook: Each sheet within a single workbook must have a unique name. Excel does not allow duplicate sheet names within the same workbook. This helps to avoid confusion when navigating through your workbook.
  2. Non-Blank Name: An Excel sheet name cannot be left blank. If you try to delete the name of an Excel sheet without replacing it with a new name, Excel will automatically revert to the previous name.
  3. Character Limit: The sheet’s name cannot exceed 31 characters, including alphanumeric and special characters. If the name exceeds this limit, you must shorten it before successfully renaming the sheet.
  4. Apostrophe: An apostrophe (‘) can only be used somewhere in the middle of a name, not at the start and end.
  5. Restricted Characters: Certain characters cannot be used in an Excel sheet name. These include the following:,/,?,*, [, or]. Excel will not allow you to rename the sheet if you attempt to use any of these characters.
  6. Word History: You can’t use “History” as the name of a sheet; Excel reserves this name.
  7. No Spaces at the Start or End: Spaces at the beginning or the end of the sheet name are not allowed. Excel will automatically trim any leading or trailing spaces.