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How to navigate a workbook

Once you open one or more Excel workbooks, you'll need to know how to get around. In this lesson, we'll look at how to figure out where you are now, and how to get to where you need to go next.

Let's take a look.

As you work in Excel, one of the first questions you need to answer is "where am now?"

You can always tell what workbook you're currently in by looking at the name in the window title bar. In this case, we can see that we're in a workbook called Forecast 2013.

All workbooks have at least one worksheet, and worksheets are listed as tabs at the bottom of the workbook. The current worksheet is always the tab that's highlighed at the bottom.

You can move through worksheets by clicking tabs, or by using the keyboard shortcuts, control-page down, and control page-up. Control page down moves left in the worksheet tabs, control page up moves right.

When you move to a new worksheet, you may or may not be able to see the cursor. However, Excel will always display the current location of the cursor as an address in the name box. This address is called the active cell.

In this case the cursor is on cell E100, which is not visible on the screen.

If you like, you can actually highlight this address, and press enter to that location on the worksheet.

Another way to bring the cursor into view is to press an arrow key. Excel will then move one cell in that direction, and the worksheet will be scrolled to show the cursor.

No matter where you are in the worksheet, you can use the keyboard shortcut control-home to go back to upper left cell.

If you're using more than one workbook, you can see a list of open workbooks on the View tab of the ribbon, in the Switch Workbooks menu. To move to a another workbook, just select it in the menu. Note that the window title will change  to display the new worksheet name.

You can move between open workbooks using the keyboard shortcut control-tab. Control tab will cycle through open workbooks. Add the shift key to move the other direction.

Course 
Core Excel

Related shortcuts

CtrlPgDn
Fn
CtrlPgUp
Fn
CtrlTab
Tab
CtrlShiftTab
Tab
Enter
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Author 
Dave Bruns