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Disabling Moving Between Worksheets

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: Disabling Moving Between Worksheets.

Excel provides a variety of ways that you can move from one worksheet to another in a workbook. If you want to disable moving between worksheets, you've got a difficult task in front of you because of the variety of methods you need to do something about.

For instance, one way to move between worksheets is to press Ctrl+Page Up or Ctrl+Page Down. To disable these keys for a particular workbook, you need to use the OnKey method, in the following manner:

Private Sub Workbook_Activate()
    Application.OnKey "^{PgDn}", ""
    Application.OnKey "^{PgUp}", ""
End Sub
Private Sub Workbook_Deactivate()
    Application.OnKey "^{PgDn}"
    Application.OnKey "^{PgUp}"
End Sub

These two macros should be placed in the ThisWorkbook object. The first is run whenever the workbook is activated and it disables Ctrl+Page Up and Ctrl+Page Down by having nothing run when they are pressed. The second macro is run when the workbook is deactivated, and re-enables the keys.

There are still a number of other ways to switch between worksheets, such as manually selecting the sheet, using Go To, using hyperlinks, etc. The easiest way to prevent moving between worksheets is to hide the worksheets you don't want accessed. Protecting the workbook and protecting the VB project will also aid in "thwarting" the user from moving between sheets.

If the sheets are hidden, they cannot be selected and thus you cannot move to them. Go To will not go to them, hyperlinks will not go to them. If you want users to be able to view the hidden worksheets later, you must create a macro routine with your own controls/buttons to go to those sheets. This routine would "unhide" the sheet you are going to, and hide the one you just left.

Depending on your needs, there is one other approach you can try. You could add the following macro to the ThisWorkbook object:

Private Sub Workbook_SheetDeactivate(ByVal mySheet As Object)
    Application.EnableEvents = False
    mySheet.Activate
    Application.EnableEvents = True
End Sub

This macro is executed every time the current worksheet is deactivated. It essentially "reactivates" the worksheet that is being left, which means that no other worksheet can ever be selected.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3333) 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: Disabling Moving Between Worksheets.

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