How to manage sheets in Apple Numbers on Mac

One of the greatest features of a spreadsheet application like Numbers is that you can use multiple sheets in one workbook. This eliminates the need for a new document each time you want a separate sheet, especially for those related spreadsheets.

You can use workbooks containing multiple sheets based on years, departments, bills, products, or something similar. And with a workbook that holds several worksheets comes the management of those sheets. It’s not difficult, but if you’re new to this app or spreadsheet applications in general, here are some tips for using sheets in Numbers.

Manage sheets in the Numbers app on Mac

Working with sheets in Numbers

Add a new sheet

It couldn’t be easier to create a new sheet in your Numbers workbook.

Just click the plus sign on the top left of the row with your sheet tabs. You can also use Insert > Sheet from the menu bar.

Numbers Mac Add New Sheet

Each sheet you create will reside in that area, like a row of tabs. Then, just click the sheet you want to use.

Rename a sheet

By default, new sheets are named with numbers such as Sheet 1, Sheet 2, and so on. But you can easily rename your sheets.

Either double-click the name of the sheet or select the arrow in the sheet tab and click Rename. Enter your new name and hit Return.

Numbers Mac Rename Sheet

Duplicate, cut, copy, paste, or delete a sheet

In the same shortcut menu where you can hit Rename as described above, you can do other things with your sheet. Click the arrow in the sheet tab and you’ll see these options.

Duplicate will do as the action implies and create a duplicate of your sheet. The duplicate will appear to the right with a number following the name.

Cut, copy, and paste are the kinds of actions you’re probably used to with text. These shortcuts are handy if you want to cut or copy the sheet from one workbook and paste it into another.

Delete is another obvious action. If you want to remove a sheet from your workbook, you can use this action. Just be aware that you will not be asked to confirm that you want to delete the sheet. If you do delete a sheet by mistake, use the Edit > Undo action as soon as possible to replace the sheet.

Numbers Mac Sheet Shortcuts

Use shortcuts within a sheet

Another thing you’ll notice in that sheet drop-down shortcut are the items right at the top. Depending on the elements in your sheet, you may only see one. In a nutshell, these are the tables, charts, graphs, and other elements within that sheet.

This allows you to quickly jump to one of those elements. Just click that arrow in the sheet tab and pick one. This is particularly useful if you have a large sheet with many different tables and charts.

Numbers Mac View Sheet Elements

Related: How to create and use Interactive Charts in Numbers

View sheet options

If you would like to give your sheet a background color, click the arrow in the sheet tab and pick Show Sheet Options.

You’ll notice that you have the name of the sheet (you can also rename it here), can apply the background color, and can also duplicate or delete the sheet.

Numbers Mac Show Sheet Options

Move a sheet

When you create a new sheet, it will be placed directly to the right of your current sheet. This is convenient if it happens to be the location in the workbook where you want the sheet. But if not, you can simply move it.

Select the sheet you want to move, hold the tab for the sheet (which will be highlighted), drag the sheet to its new spot, and release.

Numbers Mac Move Sheet

Scroll through your sheets

If you have numerous sheets in your workbook, you have two simple ways to scroll through them for the one you need.

On the right of the sheet tab row, you can use the arrows to move left and right through your sheets. Alternatively, you can swipe through the tab row with your trackpad or mouse gesture.

Numbers Mac Move Through Sheets

Working with sheets in Numbers is simple once you know the options and actions you can take.

One feature that would be great in Numbers is one that Microsoft Excel offers, where you can color your sheet tabs. This feature helps you spot and jump to the sheet you want at a glance. Hopefully, this is something Apple will bring to Numbers down the road.

What are your thoughts on using sheets in Numbers? Are you happy with the features you have, think there’s something missing, or having any trouble?

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