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: Who Has the File Open?.

Who Has the File Open?

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 31, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Joe asked if there is a way to determine, in a macro, who has a particular workbook open. He thought about using the WriteReservedBy property, but it doesn't seem to have the information he needs.

Unfortunately, there is no way to determine this information from VBA—it just isn't accessible. The WriteReservedBy property doesn't show who has a file open; it shows who saved the workbook using a password. In other words, when someone saves a workbook with the option to have a password to modify it, the file is "WriteReserved." The WriteReservedBy property contains the name of the person that saved the file in the WriteReserved state.

If you only need to know the answer (about who has the file open) periodically, it is easiest to gather a list of the open file names, and ask the network admin to tell you who has them open—such information is maintained on the network and accessible to the admin.

Another potential solution is to add an AutoOpen macro to each workbook that writes a temporary file to disk that contains the name of the person opening the file. The macro would need to not only open the temporary file, but handle error conditions, such as a temporary file that is already open. The temporary file could then be accessed by other macros to see the name that it contains.

An additional place that may hold an answer is the VBNet site. The article at this page contains code that may be adaptable for the desired information:

http://vbnet.mvps.org/index.html?code/network/netfileenum.htm

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 (2492) 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: Who Has the File Open?.

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. ...

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