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How to Make a Copy of an Excel Worksheet

Joshua is a graduate student at the USF. He has interests in business technology, analytics, finance, and lean six sigma.

Quite often, we are tasked with copying a worksheet, and many people still don't know the best method to do so. There are many reasons to duplicate worksheet data, whether the purpose is to share the work or create a backup.

In this article, I've come up with two ways to copy a worksheet. Each way may serve a purpose better than others, depending on the situation. I'll add details on why I would use each method.

Copying and Pasting the Data

Copying the data directly out of the worksheet may be the easiest way to duplicate the data as long as you choose the proper pasting option for your situation. For instance, you may want to keep the same formatting or even keep formulas as formulas.

The first step to this simple copy and paste method is selecting all the data. This can be accomplished by selecting the square in the top left-hand corner of the spreadsheet.

The above illustration shows the select all feature highlighted with a square around it. By clicking this button all data in the worksheet will be selected.

The above illustration shows the select all feature highlighted with a square around it. By clicking this button all data in the worksheet will be selected.

Next, press ctrl + c or right-click the selection and select copy. Lastly, select all the cells of a new worksheet or go to the first cell and press ctrl + v or right-click and select paste.

I would normally choose this method if I need to change the format of the data by choosing one of several paste options. Perhaps you would like to change your formulas to a static number to completely remove the formulas.

The above illustration show the data after it was pasted into a new sheet. Before pasting the data the select all feature must be pressed or the first cell must be click so that the data in new worksheet matches the position in the original.

The above illustration show the data after it was pasted into a new sheet. Before pasting the data the select all feature must be pressed or the first cell must be click so that the data in new worksheet matches the position in the original.

Creating a Copy From the Sheet Tab

Creating a copy from the worksheet tab will allow you to create an exact copy and keep that copy in the existing workbook or send it to another workbook.

The first step to using this method is to right-click one of the sheet tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet that you would like to copy and choose the move or copy option from the drop-down menu.

Right Click Sheet Tab → Move or Copy

In the illustration above the sheet that is to be copied is right click to show a menu where you must select the move or copy option in order to proceed making a copy.

In the illustration above the sheet that is to be copied is right click to show a menu where you must select the move or copy option in order to proceed making a copy.

Next, the move or copy window will appear immediately. Click the "create a copy" check box and select the workbook to be copied to from the dropdown menu. The only workbooks available on the list will be the ones that are currently open so if there is a particular workbook that you want to copy to make sure that it is open.

Click Create a Copy Check box → Select Workbook

By default, the copied worksheet will become the first worksheet unless you specify where you would like it to display. Finish by clicking OK.

I would use this option if I needed an Exact replica of the data so that I can share it with someone else or just have an alternate copy to manipulate without damaging the source data.

The move or copy window allows you to dictate what workbook your new copy will appear in. Additionally, you can select the order in which the worksheet tab will appear.

The move or copy window allows you to dictate what workbook your new copy will appear in. Additionally, you can select the order in which the worksheet tab will appear.

References

Microsoft. (n.d.). Move or copy worksheets or worksheet data. Office Support. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/move-or-copy-worksheets-or-worksheet-data-47207967-bbb2-4e95-9b5c-3c174aa69328.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Joshua Crowder

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