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See the big picture with Navigation pane for Excel

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Hey, Office Insiders! I’m Sharon Grimshaw, a Program Manager on the Excel team. I’m here to announce the release of an exciting new Excel for Windows feature that will help you navigate complex workbooks: the Navigation pane.

Navigation pane

The Navigation pane is a great way to better understand a workbook’s layout, view the different elements that make up the workbook, and navigate directly to those elements. Whether you’re a new user getting familiar with Excel or an experienced one trying to navigate a large workbook, the Navigation pane can help you accomplish tasks more efficiently.

For more details about the inspiration behind this feature, see my Tech Community post.

How it works

Ready to give it a try?

  1. Open an existing workbook (the more complex, the better).
  2. Select the View tab, and then choose the Navigation button to open the pane (or select the sequence Alt > W > K to open the Navigation pane from your keyboard).View tab in Excel for Windows showing Navigation button.
  3. In the Navigation pane, select a section name to view that sheet; expand it to display its contents, such as tables, named ranges, and images. Screenshot of Navigation pane view in Excel for Windows.

NOTE: You can also right-click in the status bar or use the context menu and select Sheet Number to add a sheet count to the status bar. Then select the sheet count to open the Navigation pane.

Screenshot showing status bar in Excel, featuring sheet count.

Scenarios to try

Some elements can be modified directly from the Navigation pane. Right-click or use the context menu on each element name to open a menu of actions (the available options will vary depending on element type). These include:

  • Charts and images can be renamed, deleted, or hidden.
  • PivotTables can be renamed.


This feature is available to Office Insiders running Beta Channel Version 2108 (Build 14326.20000) or later.

(7/13/22) UPDATE: This feature is now available to Office Insiders running Beta Channel Version 2111 (Build 14708.10000) or later.

Features are released over some time to ensure things are working smoothly. We highlight features that you may not have because they’re slowly releasing to larger numbers of Insiders. Sometimes we remove elements to further improve them based on your feedback. Though this is rare, we also reserve the option to pull a feature entirely out of the product, even if you, as an Insider, have had the opportunity to try it.


We’d love to hear from you! To leave feedback about this feature for us, please select Help > Feedback.

Learn what other information you should include in your feedback to ensure it’s actionable and reaches the right people. We’re excited to hear from you!

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