Let Excel’s Workspace Feature Help Save You Time!

Do you need to work with several workbooks (files) at one time in a particular arrangement on the screen? If so, did you know that you can group them so they can be opened in one step by creating what is known as a workspace?

A workspace is a file that groups all of the workbooks in your group and opens them all at once in the desired arrangement. The workspace feature creates a file that has an .xlw file extension. You save time because you don’t have to open each file individually and then re-size. This feature comes in handy if you are working with three or four files at a time.

To create workspace, just complete the following steps:

  1. Open all of the workbooks that you want to reside in the workspace.
  2. Size and position them as would like them to appear on the screen.
  3. Click the View tab and click the Save Workspace button in the Windows group.
  4. Type a name for your workspace file and navigate to the file location where you want your workspace file stored.


The workspace file does not contain the workbooks themselves, so you will still need to save any changes you make to your workbooks to the actual workbooks. Hint: You can add the Save All and Close All icons to your QUICK ACCESS TOOLBAR to help you quickly save and close all of the files.

Remember, if you need to work at another computer, you need to have the workspace file as well as all of the workbook files—so it’s a good idea to save all of the files in one handy folder.

Source: Microsoft Excel 2010 Illustrated Series: Complete by Elizabeth Eisner Reding and Lynn Wermers, Course Technology/Cengage Learning, Boston: 2011, p. 145.

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