How to Combine Excel Workbooks into One: A Step-by-Step Guide

Combining Excel workbooks into one is a task that will save you time and effort when analyzing data from multiple sources. It can be done by using the ‘Move or Copy’ feature or by consolidating data from different sheets. After reading this brief overview, you’ll have a basic understanding of how to merge multiple Excel workbooks into a single file.

Step by Step Tutorial: Combining Excel Workbooks

Before diving into the steps, let’s clarify what we’re aiming for: a single Excel workbook that contains all the data from the separate workbooks you started with. This can be incredibly useful for reporting, analysis, or simply for organizing your information more effectively.

Step 1: Open the Excel workbooks you want to combine

Open all the Excel workbooks that you want to combine into one.

When you have all your workbooks open, it’s important to ensure that the data is organized in a way that will make sense when combined. This might mean ensuring that similar data is on the same columns or that the formatting is consistent across all sheets.

Step 2: Select the worksheet you want to move or copy

Go to the worksheet that you want to move or copy to another workbook.

In Excel, each file can contain multiple sheets. Make sure you’re on the correct sheet within the workbook before you move to the next step.

Step 3: Right-click on the worksheet tab and choose ‘Move or Copy’

Right-click on the tab of the worksheet you’re moving, and a menu will appear. Choose ‘Move or Copy’.

This step will bring up a new dialog box where you can select where you want to move or copy your worksheet.

Step 4: Choose the destination workbook from the dropdown

In the ‘Move or Copy’ dialog box, select the workbook where you want to move or copy the worksheet from the dropdown menu.

If the workbook you want to move the sheet to isn’t open, you’ll need to open it before this step.

Step 5: Specify where to place the worksheet and click ‘OK’

Indicate where in the workbook you want the moved or copied worksheet to appear, then click ‘OK’.

You can choose to place the sheet at the end of the existing worksheets or between specific sheets in the destination workbook.

After completing these steps, your workbooks will be combined into one. This can make it easier to manage your data and perform any analysis across multiple sources.

Tips for Combining Excel Workbooks

  • Ensure that all the data you’re combining is compatible and organized similarly for a smoother combining process.
  • Always save a backup of your original workbooks before combining them, just in case something goes wrong.
  • Use the ‘Consolidate’ feature in Excel for a quick way to combine multiple ranges of data into one.
  • Consider using Excel’s ‘Power Query’ tool for more advanced data combining and transformation tasks.
  • If you’re combining a large amount of data, be patient – the process may take some time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if the ‘Move or Copy’ option is greyed out?

If the ‘Move or Copy’ option is not available, it may be because the workbook is shared or protected. You’ll need to unshare or unprotect the workbook first.

Can I combine Excel workbooks with different formats?

It’s possible to combine workbooks with different formats, but it might require some manual adjustments to ensure data consistency.

How do I combine multiple sheets from different workbooks at once?

You’ll need to repeat the steps for each sheet you want to combine. Currently, Excel does not support combining multiple sheets from different workbooks simultaneously.

Is there a limit to how many workbooks I can combine?

Technically, no. However, the more data you’re working with, the slower the process might become.

Can I undo the process after combining the workbooks?

If you haven’t closed the workbook, you should be able to undo the move or copy action. However, it’s best to work with backups to prevent data loss.


  1. Open the Excel workbooks you want to combine.
  2. Select the worksheet you want to move or copy.
  3. Right-click on the worksheet tab and choose ‘Move or Copy’.
  4. Choose the destination workbook from the dropdown.
  5. Specify where to place the worksheet and click ‘OK’.


Combining Excel workbooks into one can seem daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes a straightforward process. Whether you’re a data analyst, a student, or a business professional, this skill can save you hours of manual data entry and provide a more organized way to view your data. Remember, being careful and methodical about this task is key to avoiding errors. Always double-check your work, and don’t forget to keep backups of your original files just in case. As you become more comfortable with Excel, you might also explore other features like macros or Excel Add-ins that can automate this process for you. Excel is an incredibly powerful tool, and learning to combine workbooks is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what you can achieve with it. Happy combining!

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