Worksheets and Workbooks in Excel

Learn about worksheets and spreadsheets in Excel and Google Sheets

A worksheet or sheet is a single page in a file created with an electronic spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. A workbook is the name given to an Excel file and contains one or more worksheets. When you open an electronic spreadsheet program, it loads an empty workbook file consisting of one or more blank worksheets for you to use.

Instructions in this article apply to Excel for Microsoft 365, Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010; Excel for Mac, Excel Online, and Google Sheets.

Worksheet Details

You use worksheets to store, manipulate, and display data.

The primary storage unit for data in a worksheet is a rectangular-shaped cell arranged in a grid pattern in every sheet. Individual cells of data are identified and organized using the vertical column letters and horizontal row numbers of a worksheet, which create a cell reference, such as A1, D15, or Z467.

Worksheet specifications for current versions of Excel include:

  • 1,048,576 rows per worksheet
  • 16,384 columns per worksheet
  • 17,179,869,184 cells per worksheet
  • A limited number of sheets per file based on the amount of memory available on the computer

For Google Sheets:

  • 256 columns per sheet
  • 400,000 cells for all worksheets in a file
  • 200 worksheets per spreadsheet file

Worksheet Names

In both Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets, each worksheet has a name. By default, the worksheets are named Sheet1, Sheet2, Sheet3, and so on, but you can change these names.

Workbook Details

In Excel, use the following shortcut key combinations to switch between worksheets:

  • Ctrl+PgUp (page up): Move to the right
  • Ctrl+PgDn (page down): Move to the left

In Google Sheets, the shortcut key combinations to switch between worksheets are:

  • Ctrl+Shift+PgUp: Move to the right
  • Ctrl+Shift+PgDn: Move to the left