Clicking Sheet Tab Deselects Grouped Sheets

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Article ID: 158063 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

In Microsoft Excel, if you have multiple sheets selected (you are in Group Edit mode) and you click a sheet tab, all sheets except the sheet whose tab you clicked are deselected.

CAUSE

This will occur if both of the following conditions are true:
  • All sheets are selected.

    -and-
  • You select a sheet other than the active sheet.
This behavior is by design of Microsoft Excel.

WORKAROUND

You can quickly reselect all visible sheets by using the following steps:

Microsoft Excel for Windows

  1. Right-click any sheet tab.
  2. On the shortcut menu, click Select All Sheets.

Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh

  1. Press and hold the CONTROL key.
  2. Click any sheet tab and click Select All Sheets on the shortcut menu.

MORE INFORMATION

In Microsoft Excel, you can select and make changes to multiple sheets simultaneously. This is called "Group Edit" mode. To select multiple sheets:
  • If you want to select a contiguous block of sheets, select the first sheet in the group. Then press and hold the SHIFT key and click the tab for the last sheet. When you are done, release the SHIFT key.
  • If you want to select a non-contiguous block of sheets, select the first sheet. Then, press and hold the CTRL key then click the tab of each sheet you want selected. When you are done, release the CTRL key.

    NOTE: On the Macintosh use the COMMAND key as you select the sheet tabs.
You can exit Group Edit mode by performing any of the following actions:
  • Click the tab of a sheet that is not currently selected.
  • Right-click (CONTROL+click on the Macintosh) the tab of any sheet and click Ungroup Sheets on the shortcut menu.
  • If ALL sheets are selected, click the tab on any sheet (except the active sheet) to deselect all other sheets.
Normally, when you click the tab of a selected sheet, the group of selected sheets remains selected. The exception occurs when all sheets are selected. If you click a sheet's tab and all your visible sheets are deselected, use the workaround shown earlier in this article to reselect all the sheets.

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Article ID: 158063 - Last Review: August 15, 2003 - Revision: 1.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 95a
  • Microsoft Excel 5.0c
  • Microsoft Excel 98 for Macintosh
Keywords: 
kbprb kbualink97 KB158063
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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