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Running a Macro when a Worksheet is Activated

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: Running a Macro when a Worksheet is Activated.

Excel allows you to define macros that are executed whenever certain well-defined events occur in the Excel environment. One of those events is when a worksheet is activated. For instance, you could create a macro that defined a custom menu structure whenever a particular worksheet is displayed.

In order to create a macro that runs when a worksheet is activated, follow these steps:

  1. Display the VBA Editor by pressing Alt+F11.
  2. In the Project window, at the left side of the Editor, double-click on the name of the worksheet that you want to affect. (You may need to first open the VBAProject folder, and then open the Microsoft Excel Objects folder under it.) The code window for the worksheet should appear.
  3. In the code window, use the right pull-down list (there are two pull-down lists just below the title bar of the code window) to select the Activate option. The following code should appear in the code window:
     Private Sub Worksheet_Activate()

     End Sub
  1. In this new subroutine enter the macro you want executed whenever the worksheet is activated.
  2. Close the VBA Editor.

Remember that a macro defined in this way is run every time the worksheet is activated, not just the first time. Think about how you use Excel; it is possible to activate a worksheet several dozen times during the course of a session.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2564) 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: Running a Macro when a Worksheet is Activated.

Related Tips:

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:

Jas    08 Apr 2016, 02:04
Hi, may I know if its possible to run a VBA code and create a new worksheet, then setting a macro to one of the events (worksheet_activate) through coding? Thank you!

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