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Forcing Manual Calculation For a Workbook

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Forcing Manual Calculation For a Workbook.

Excel workbooks can become quite complex. In fact, it is possible to create workbooks that can take hours to calculate. The only problem with this, of course, is that when you open a workbook, it automatically recalculates if you have Excel configured to do that. This means that just opening a workbook can, in some instances, take hours.

One solution, of course, is to turn off automatic recalculation before you open the workbook. If you are like me, this solution isn't that great because my memory isn't always that great.

A better solution is to turn off automatic recalculation for certain workbooks. Since Excel doesn't allow you to specify manual or automatic recalculation on a workbook-by-workbook basis, you will need to add this feature through the use of a macro that automatically runs when the workbook is opened. This macro can turn off automatic recalculation, as shown here:

Private Sub Workbook_Open()
    Application.Calculation = xlManual
    Application.CalculateBeforeSave = False
End Sub

This macro must be placed in the ThisWorkbook project window. This means that you should open the workbook, press Alt+F11 to display the VBA Editor, and then double-click on the ThisWorkbook object in the Object Browser (upper-left corner of the VBA Editor window).

If you want, you can also place another macro right after the previous one. This macro is run automatically when the workbook is closed and, in this case, turns automatic recalculation back on:

Private Sub Workbook_BeforeClose(Cancel As Boolean)
    Application.Calculation = xlAutomatic
    Application.CalculateBeforeSave = True
End Sub

There is an important caveat to remember in relation to using this macro. You can only set the calculation mode for the application as a whole. Thus, with automatic recalculation turned off, no other worksheets will be automatically recalculated, either.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (1988) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Forcing Manual Calculation For a Workbook.

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Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

 

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Comments for this tip:

David    29 Dec 2015, 14:27
I have a formula that looks at another cell for a value and adds it to an existing value, if present, that says if f3 > 0, e3+f3,f3

It works great as a stand alone but I have range references on the other sheet that f3 is the target of, that calculate as an accumulator in vb, and so it calculates more than once in the destination cell, making the value wrong. Is there a way to stop the calculation from happening on this other worksheet, forcing it to only calculate once?
Joe    03 Sep 2014, 04:20
Having the same problem. The workbook first recalculates, then only is the auto_open macro run.

Please help!

Thanks
Joe
Kai    22 Aug 2014, 06:12
Hi,

this method doesnt seem to work. If I open excel using a sheet that is in autocalculate mode, and then open another sheet that has above macro, the formulas still get recalculated upon opening. Only afterwards the calculation is set to manual.
 
 

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