Tom’s Tutorials For Excel: History Lesson — A Reserved Sheet Name

Tom’s Tutorials For Excel: History Lesson — A Reserved Sheet Name

If you try to rename an Excel worksheet or chart sheet as History, you’ll be stopped in your tracks, as the following picture sequence shows.

The question is, why is the word History so special that you cannot use it as a sheet name?
The answer is, Excel uses the word History as part of its history tracking feature. Some background:

In Excel, you can save a file as a shared workbook, so that more than one user can work on the same data simultaneously. To keep everyone informed with changes that have occurred among users in a shared workbook, Excel creates a worksheet named “History” to display those changes.

Whether or not your workbook is shared, Excel takes no chances, and prevents you from naming a worksheet “History”. To view a History sheet example, follow these pictured steps.

Step 1
From your keyboard, press Alt+T+T+H to show the Highlight Changes dialog box.

Step 2
In the Highlight Changes dialog box:
• Check the “Track changes while editing…” option.
• Check the When field, and from the drop-down menu, select All.
• Deselect the Who and the Where fields.
• Check “List changes on a new sheet”
• Click OK.

Here is a typical-looking History sheet. You can click the AutoFilter drop-down arrows to limit or expand the historical changes you want to see, and who made them.

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