How to rename sheets and format sheet tabs in Excel

In this article, we will learn How to rename sheets and format sheet tabs in Excel.


Introduction to Excel basics, Here we are going to address a basic problem which is renaming and changing the colour format of the sheet tabs. Generally when we open a sheet, Excel shows us the default naming of sheets as Sheet1, Sheet2 and Sheet3. Or when we add a new sheet, it will be default named too. Excel doesn't ask for the naming of the sheet before editing it. You have to edit it yourself manually  Let's understand this with an example shown below.

How to solve the problem?

Naming sheet tabs with different colour formats makes the data presentable and easy to understand and access information. Here the problem is renaming sheets or changing format colour in Excel. For this we will use the right click on tab and select options from the drop down list.


Example :

It's easy to understand with an example shown below. Here we have a new sheet with tabs named as Sheet1, Sheet2 and Sheet3.

Now we will edit names of the tabs in this worksheet. Right click on any tab name, a list will pop up like shown below.

Clicking the Rename option enables the editing mode as shown below.

Start typing the new name for the sheet. Similarly name all tabs one by one. 

I named the tabs as Red, Pink and Orange. You can also double click on the tab name to edit the name of the tab.

As you can see in the above gif Sheet4 name is changed to Green. Usually excel allows you to use the undo option to remove the last changes made. Tabs editing doesn't allow you to use the Undo option. You have to edit it manually step by step.


How to edit format color?

Now we will learn how to edit the color of these tabs. Right click on the tab which you want to change the format of.

Select the Tab Color option, Theme colors will open up. Select the type of color you like to select.

If you are working on this sheet, Tab will be displayed like the image shown above. As you switch to any other tab the tab will appear colored as shown below.

Now perform the task wherever its required.

Naming sheets and coloring makes the sheet easy to understand.

If you are still facing problems to edit sheet tab names. It might be the one from the below notes list.


  1. Minimum length must be one character.
  2. Maximum length cannot be exceeded more than 31 characters.
  3. Duplicate name or same name for different tabs is not allowed in the worksheet.
  4. Naming sheet tabs doesn't allow some characters in the name. Characters like [ , ] , * , ? , / , \ , ' , " are not allowed.

Hope this article about How to rename sheets and format sheet tabs in Excel is explanatory. Find more articles on naming arrays, cell references and colour formatting here. If you liked our blogs, share it with your friends on Facebook. And also you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We would love to hear from you, do let us know how we can improve, complement or innovate our work and make it better for you. Write us at


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