Deleting Worksheets in a Macro

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 19, 2013)

1

Most Excel commands are available for use within your macros, provided you know the proper VBA commands to accomplish the task at hand. You can use the following macro command to delete the active worksheet:

ActiveSheet.Delete

If you issue the command in your macro, you will find that Excel pauses the macro and asks you if you are sure you want to delete the worksheet. When you click on Yes, the worksheet is deleted and the macro resumes.

The whole idea behind macros, of course, is to automate many of the tasks you do on a regular basis. Stopping and asking for confirmation may be the safe way to go, but it doesn't do much to help the cause of automation. If you want the worksheet to be deleted without a pause, there are a couple of things you can do. First, you can use the SendKeys method to simulate pressing the Enter key, which is the same as clicking on Yes in the confirmation dialog box. All you need to do is add a single line before the line that deletes the worksheet:

Application.SendKeys ("{ENTER}")
ActiveSheet.Delete

SendKeys does nothing but stuff keypresses into the keyboard buffer, the same as if you typed them from the keyboard. Thus, the SendKeys line must precede the Delete line so that the Enter keypress is in the buffer before it is needed.

Any longtime macro developer can point to several potential problems with using SendKeys, the primary problem being that you cannot use it to specify that you are accepting the Yes option in the confirmation dialog box, and only in that dialog box. However unlikely, if some other dialog box pops up (perhaps one generated by a different program) at just the right time, the Enter keypress will be applied to that dialog box, not to the one you expected.

A better solution is to turn off the alerting capabilities of Excel for a short time. Consider the following macro code:

Application.DisplayAlerts = False
ActiveSheet.Delete
Application.DisplayAlerts = True

This code turns off the alerts, deletes the worksheet, and then turns the alerts back on. While they are turned off, Excel will not display the confirmation dialog box, but will act as if it had been displayed and the default option (Yes) selected.

It is important to remember the last line of code shown here. If you do not set the DisplayAlerts property back to True, then Excel will not show any more alert messages, even after the macro has ended. This could cause problems, as you might imagine. It is best to only set it to False for the short time you need the alerts turned off.

Even with DisplayAlerts set to False, you will still see error messages, if one is generated. For instance, if you execute the above code and there is only a single worksheet in the workbook, you will still see an error message. (This happens because you cannot delete the last worksheet in a workbook.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2293) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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

Shortcut Key for Format Painter

The Format Painter is great for copying formatting from one cell to another. If you don't want to grab the mouse to use the ...

Discover More

Multi-Page Print Preview

Many users rely on Print Preview to show them what their printout will look like. When using Print Preview, you aren't ...

Discover More

Missing Header and Footer Toolbar

When you need to make changes to the header or footer of a document, the Header and Footer toolbar is invaluable. What if you ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Converting Text Case

Ever notice that if someone types in all CAPS, it appears they are shouting? If your worksheets include lots of text, you may ...

Discover More

Positioning a Column on the Screen

If you have static columns and dynamic columns on the screen, you may want the dynamic columns to always show a particular ...

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
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. 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 seven minus 5?

2015-07-05 00:33:26

Toya Mack

Is there a VBA that says delete worksheet if data is NOT in a certain on a worksheet?


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.