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.

Forcing Manual Calculation For a Workbook

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 22, 2016)

2

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.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

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.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Losing Formatting

When you save a workbook, you expect Excel to remember the formatting you applied in the worksheets in that workbook. If ...

Discover More

Preventing Printing

When dealing with determined users, it is virtually impossible to prevent information in your document from being ...

Discover More

Tracking Changes to Templates

Wouldn't it be great to be able to track what changes are made to a template, over time? Unfortunately, Word doesn't ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Determining the Current Directory

When you use a macro to do file operations, it works (by default) within the current directory. If you want to know which ...

Discover More

Converting Text to Numbers

Import information from a program external to Excel, and your numbers may be treated as text because of the way that the ...

Discover More

Pulling Cell Names into VBA

Excel allows you to define names that can refer to either ranges of cells or to constant information, such as formulas. ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two minus 1?

2018-10-31 11:55:53

Lily

This is my first time using a macro, and it's exactly what I needed!! Thank you so very much! (The only other thing I had to do was save my file as a macro-enabled workbook; it had just been a regular Excel workbook up until now. )


2018-06-06 14:20:53

Philip

What happens if you put the first macro into your Personal.xlsb workbook? Will this force all spreadsheets to open in manual calc mode?


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.