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Stepping Through a Macro with a Worksheet Visible

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: Stepping Through a Macro with a Worksheet Visible.

Ted asked if there was a way to step through VBA code while viewing a worksheet, so he could view the effects on the worksheet as each step in his macro is executed.

This is actually quite easy to do—all that needs to be done is to arrange the Excel window and the VB Editor window so that both of them are visible at the same time. In other words, neither one of them should be "full screen." You can arrange the window sizes so that you maximize what you can see in your worksheet, and minimize what you see in the VB Editor—perhaps showing only a few lines of code in the window.

Another closely related approach is to make the Excel workbook full-screen, and then make the VB Editor window as small as possible, overlaying the Excel screen. With the VB Editor window active, you can step through the macro using F8 and view the results in the background, on the Excel workbook.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2061) 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: Stepping Through a Macro with a Worksheet Visible.

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Comments for this tip:

Ellen    30 Oct 2015, 16:36
How do I correct it if the macro won't move from tab to tab like it should. It stays on the same tab while running the macro
Chris Raine    25 Jul 2012, 05:47
I'm very new to VBA and it took me a while to figure out how to do this, as my VB Editor opens a window at full size - completely masking the original Excel Workbook window.
So, to view the macro in action in the Workbook when stepping through, is it a matter of always having to manually resize the VB Ed window and positioning it to make the Workbook activity visible, or can the Editor window be made to open at a particular size & position before it opens? I'm using Excel 2000.

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