Hide & Seek: Where’s My Spreadsheet?

It happens to each and every one of us eventually. It’s quite simply a matter of working with Excel long enough that one day you find yourself zipping right along opening up a workbook when nothing seems to happen. That is, Excel appears to be working. You wait; nothing. Maybe you even close and reopen the workbook; still nothing. So what gives? Where’s all the data!?

You calmly reassure yourself, possibly out loud, “Surely I didn’t delete anything!?”

We hope no one heard you, or can see that look in your eyes right now. How did we know? We understand, and we have most certainly been in this situation exactly. So, where did that workbook go, why can’t you see any of the sheets, why is Excel so quiet about it, and should you prepare yourself to receive CPR? With exception to the last question, we can answer all the others quite simply.

The workbook is just hidden for whatever reason, and the remedy to that is this:

  1. Excel 2007 – 2016: Open the workbook, choose VIEW, then [Click] .
    Excel 2003, 2008, or 2011: Open the workbook, from the WINDOW menu, choose UNHIDE.
  2. Select the hidden workbook in the UNHIDE dialog box, then [Click] OK.

Now, the answer to the last question in the above series depends on two things. Whether or not the above two steps solved the problem, and how current your most recent backup was.

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