As you get more advanced in your Excel skills, you will inevitably have many data sheet tabs in a workbook. While it is easy to click on a few visible tabs, or even use keyboard shortcuts to navigate to each tab, these two methods are very cumbersome when you have many sheet tabs.  Scrolling within a sheet for multiple objects or items can also become a time intensive task.

The good news is, in Excel 365 and Excel 2021, there is a new feature to navigate the sheet tabs and the contents within, whether titles, tables or charts. The new feature is the Navigation Pane. Just enable the Navigation Pane, and you can click on a sheet name and the contents within.

Step 1: Enable the Navigation Pane

  • Click on the View tab, then click on Navigation in the drop-down menu.


Step 2: Working with items in the Navigation Pane

  • In the Navigation Pane, click on the sheet name to switch to the sheet tab in the workbook.
  • Use the Expand/Collapse arrows to the left of the name to expand and display the contents of the selected sheet.
  • Click on a sub item/content name to go to the specific item or object in the worksheet, instead of scrolling.


The Navigation Pane displays all the items in a list, like a Table of Contents page, or a Bookmark Windowpane in a lengthy Adobe PDF document.  The Expand/Collapse arrows are useful when navigating a long list of worksheet contents.  The Search Bar at the top of the Navigation Pane allows you search for a sheet name, which further minimizes scrolling within the pane itself.