How to Change Sheet Tab Color in Excel (3 Quick Ways)

When you’re working with a lot of sheets in a workbook, it may help keep the work more organized if you give color to these sheet tabs.

For example, if you have sheets for different years, you can a different color to each sheet tab. Or if you have sheets for multiple departments, you can group these by giving sheets from a department a specific color.

Note that by default, the sheets are gray in color (can be a different shade of gray depending on your Excel version).

In this Excel tutorial, I will show you a couple of simple ways to change the sheet tab color in Excel.

Let’s get started!

Right-click on Tab and Change color

This is the easiest way to do it.

Below are the steps to change the sheet tab color in Excel:

  1. Right-click on the sheet tab name for which you want to change the colorRight Click on the Sheet tab name
  2. Place the cursor on the ‘Tab Color’ option. This will show you the color paletteHover the cursor over the Tab color option
  3. Choose the color that you want to apply to the sheet

That’s it!

The selected color will be applied to the active sheet tab.

Sheets tabs have been colored

Note that the color is darker in the shade when the sheet is not active. And when the sheet is active, the color shade is lighter. In the above screenshot, both the tabs ‘Data 1’ and ‘Data 2’ have the same color applied to it. But Data 1 tab is lighter as it’s the active sheet tab.

Change the Tab Color of a group of Sheets

You can use the same method to color a group of sheet tabs at the same time. For example, let’s say you want to color three different sheet tabs

Below are the steps to group the worksheets and then color the sheet tab:

  1. Hold the Control key
  2. Click on each sheet that you want to group
  3. Right-click on the sheet tab name for which you want to change the color
  4. Place the cursor on the ‘Tab Color’ option. This will show you the color palette
  5. Choose the color that you want to apply to the sheet tab

The above steps would apply the selected colors to all the sheets that you group in Step 1 and 2.

How to Change to Other Sheet tab color or Remove it

Just the way you have added color to the sheet tab, you can also change it or remove it completely.

Below are the steps to do this:

  1. Right-click on the sheet tab for which you want to change the color
  2. Place the cursor on the ‘Tab Color’ option. This will show you the color palette
  3. Choose the color that you want to apply (or choose No color if you want to remove the existing applied sheet tab color)

No color to remove the Sheet tab color in Excel

Change Sheet Tab Color Using the Ribbon in Excel

While right-clicking on the tab is the easiest way to change the Sheet tab color, you can also do it through the same option in the ribbon.

Below are the steps to do this:

  1. Click the Home tabClick on the Home tab
  2. In the cells group, click on the Format optionClick on the Format option
  3. Hover the cursor over the Tab color optionClick on Tab Color and then choose the color
  4. Choose the color that you want to apply to the sheet tab

Keyboard Shortcut to Change Sheet Tab Color

In case you don’t want to use the mouse at all (as some people feel that it slows them down), there is a keyboard shortcut to change the sheet tab color as well.

Below is the keyboard shortcut that will open the color palette for the sheet tab:

ALT + H +O + T (press these keys one after the other)

This will open the color palette, and you can use the arrow keys to navigate through colors and select the one you want.

[BONUS] Using VBA to Color Sheet Tabs

In case you have a lot of sheets and you want to color specific sheet tabs in a specific color, you can also do this using VBA.

While you always have the option to do this manually, in case you have a lot of sheets, doing this manually can be tedious.

In such a case, VBA can be helpful.

Suppose you have sheets as shown below and you want to quickly color all the sheets with the word 2019 in it in red color.

Sheet tabs with a specific text in it

You can use the following VBA macro code to do this:

Sub ChangeSheetTabColor()
Dim sh As Worksheet
For Each sh In Worksheets
    If InStr(1, sh.Name, "2019", vbTextCompare) > 0 Then
        sh.Tab.Color = vbRed
    End If
Next sh
End Sub

The above code goes through each sheet in the workbook and only colors those tabs where the sheet name has the word 2019. This is done using the VBA INSTR function.

You need to place this VB Code in a regular module in the VB Editor.

So these are the different ways you can use to change sheet tab color in Excel.

Hope you found this tutorial useful!

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