How to create a linked dashboard (or landing page) for your Excel workbook

3 minute read time.

Have you ever had the pleasure (or displeasure) of working with an extra large Excel workbook with many, many different sheets? This happens frequently, especially if you are working with a large amount of data that needs to be analyzed periodically. This may be due to multiple tables, lookups, references, charts, graphs etc. This has the tendency to have you create many different sheets—each one having its own specific function and purpose. You may notice however, that as the data grows, the number of sheets increases—forcing you to have to scroll through the list of tabs to get to the specific sheet desired. But what if business is so good that you now have around 10, 20 or more sheets? Having to scroll back and forth through the tabs to get to each sheet to verify and hence analyze information would be a nightmare. This is where a linked dashboard (or a landing page) comes in handy, and is a very quick fix for this quandary. This has the effect of taking you to the desired sheet by just one click of a button and back to the dashboard with another.

Let's get started: What I have here is a workbook with multiple sheets consisting of tables, charts, graphs, raw data etc. Each sheet in the workbook serves its purpose. I would like to access the information in each workbook without having to scroll through the tabs at the bottom of the workbook all the time.

Notice the tabs at the bottom of the page denoting each sheet (this can get quite bothersome as they increase in number): 
So how do we accomplish this?

Step one: create a Landing page (or Dashboard or home page)

I have created a very simple, but effective, landing page called "Dashboard" and added the names of sheets I would like to link to. For best practices, it is often handy to name them after the tabs they are going to point to. Hence, I have named them after the tabs in the workbook respectively.

Step two: Create and insert links

We are going to start by inserting a link for the "Home" worksheet (not to be confused with the landing page). This is how we do this:

  • Click in the cell containing the text you want to become the link (in this case cell D4 as it contains the word "Home").
  • From the main menu in excel, click on insert, then Link (hint: you can also hit ctrl+K) on your keyboard.
  • A list may or may not appear (this contains previously opened workbooks on your machine or online).
  • Scroll all the way down and choose "insert link".
  • A dialogue box appears. Leave the "text to display" as "Home" (unless you want it to read something else).
  • On the left (under the "Link to" options), choose "Place in this document".
  • Now instead of typing in a cell reference, choose the option "Or select a place in this document" and choose the "Home" worksheet.

  • After clicking OK there is a now a hyperlink inserted on the Landing page. The result will look like this:

When clicking on the "Home" link, it takes me to the sheet labeled "Home", which you can customise as you see fit.

Do this for the rest of the sheets you would like your dashboard to link to. Points to ponder:

  1. Now would be a good time to include a link pointing back to the landing page. This will enable you to go back to the landing page (dashboard) without having to scroll all the way from whence you came.
  2. Once this is done, to get this same link on the rest of your sheets, simply copy that link (ctrl+c) and paste on the other pages. No need to perform the same steps of inserting a link.
  3. Links can be formatted to your specifications (color, size etc.)

Hopefully this should help save you time and limit the needless scrolling when working with multiple sheets in one workbook.