Using an Excel Shortcut to Add Worksheets

Who knew it was this easy to do?

Microsoft Excel Templates for Home or Work
Microsoft Excel Templates for Home or Work. (c) Getty / Hero Images

As with many Excel options, there are multiple ways of inserting one or more worksheets into an existing workbook.

Here are instructions for three different methods:

  1. Using shortcut keys on the keyboard.
  2. Using the mouse and the sheet tab.
  3. Using options located on the Home tab of the ribbon.

Insert a New Worksheet Using a Keyboard Shortcut

Insert Multiple Worksheets with Shortcut Keys in Excel
Insert Multiple Worksheets with Shortcut Keys. © Ted French

There are actually two keyboard key combinations for inserting a new worksheet in Excel:

Shift + F11
or
Alt + Shift + F1

For example, to insert a worksheet with Shift + F11:

  1. Press and hold the Shift key on the keyboard.
  2. Press and release the F11 key – located above the number row on the keyboard.
  3. Release the Shift key.
  4. A new worksheet will be inserted into the current workbook to the right of all existing worksheets.
  5. To add multiple worksheets continue to press and release the F11 key while holding down the Shift key.

Insert Multiple Worksheets Using a Keyboard Shortcut

To add multiple worksheets at one time using the above keyboard shortcuts, you must first highlight the number of existing worksheet tabs to tell Excel how many new sheets are to be added before applying the keyboard shortcut

Note: The selected worksheet tabs must be adjacent to each other for this method to work.

Selecting multiple sheets can be done with the Shift key and mouse or with one of these keyboard shortcuts:

Ctrl + Shift + PgDn - selects sheets to the right.
Ctrl + Shift + PgUp - selects sheets to the left.

For example, to insert three new worksheets:

  1. Click on one worksheet tab in the workbook to highlight it.
  2. Press and hold the Ctrl + Shift keys on the keyboard.
  3. Press and release the PgDn key twice to highlight the two sheets to the right – three sheets should now be highlighted.
  4. Follow the instructions above for inserting worksheets using Shift + F11.
  5. Three new worksheets should be added to the workbook to the right of all existing worksheets.

Insert New Excel Worksheets Using the Mouse and Sheet Tabs

Insert Multiple Worksheets by Right Clicking on the Selected Sheet Tabs in Excel
Insert Multiple Worksheets by Right Clicking on the Selected Sheet Tabs. © Ted French

To add a single worksheet using the mouse, click on the New Sheet icon located next to the sheet tabs at the bottom of the Excel screen, as indicated in the image above.

In Excel 2013, the new sheet icon is the plus sign as shown in the first image above. In Excel 2010 and 2007, the icon is an image of a worksheet but still located next to the sheet tabs at the bottom of the screen.

The new sheet is inserted to the right of the active sheet.

Insert Multiple Worksheets Using Sheet Tabs and the Mouse

While it is possible to add multiple worksheets simply by clicking multiple times on the new sheet icon, another option is to:

  1. Click on one sheet tab to select it.
  2. Press and hold the Shift key on the keyboard.
  3. Click on additional adjacent sheet tabs to highlight them – highlight the same number of sheet tabs as new sheets to be added.
  4. Right-click on one of the selected tabs to open the Insert dialog box.
  5. Click on the Worksheet icon in the dialog box window.
  6. Click OK to add the new sheets and close the dialog box.

The new worksheets will be added to the right of all existing worksheets.

Insert a New Worksheet Using the Ribbon

Another method for adding a new worksheet is to use the Insert option located on the Home tab of the ribbon:

  1. Click on the Home tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click on the Insert icon to open the drop-down menu of options.
  3. Click on Insert Sheet to add a new sheet to the left of the active sheet.

Insert Multiple Worksheets Using the Ribbon

  1. Follow steps 1 to 3 above for selecting the same number of sheet tabs as new sheets to be added.
  2. Click on the Home tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click on the Insert icon to open the drop-down menu of options.
  4. Click on Insert Sheet to add the new worksheets to the left of the active sheet.