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: Turning Off Screen Updating.

Turning Off Screen Updating

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 22, 2016)

Many people write their own macros to manipulate the information in a workbook. Many times the macro may do quite a bit with the data, such as selecting different cells, replacing values or formulas, and taking other types of actions. This means that the Excel screen can look like it has "gone crazy" while the macro is running.

One thing you may want to do with your macro to make it run faster and to prevent distracting flashes on the screen is to turn off screen updating while the macro is running. The following macro lines will, respectively, turn off screen updating and then turn it back on in a VBA macro.

Application.ScreenUpdating = False
Application.ScreenUpdating = True

The idea is to use the first line near the beginning of your macro, and then use the second line near the end. Thus, the main body of your macro can do its work behind the scenes without the necessity of stopping to update the screen.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2498) 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: Turning Off Screen Updating.

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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