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: Running Macros on Hidden Worksheets.

Running Macros on Hidden Worksheets

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 10, 2015)

Macros are often used to process information within a workbook. Your macro can access any cells in the workbook, unless the worksheet containing the cell is hidden. When you hide a worksheet, it is even hidden from normal macro operations.

The upshot of this is that if you want to run a macro and have it access information on a hidden worksheet, you must first "unhide" the worksheet. To do this, you use the following line of code in your macro:

Sheets("My Hidden Sheet").Visible = True

When this line is executed, then the worksheet named My Hidden Sheet will no longer be hidden. It is then easily accessible by using the Selection object or the Select method. When you are later ready to hide the worksheet again (when you are done processing), use this line of code:

Sheets("My Hidden Sheet").Visible = False

Of course, unhiding and later hiding worksheets can cause a lot of flashing on the screen as Excel tries to update its screen display based on the commands executed in your macro. If you want to avoid this, then use the following line of code at the beginning of your macro:

Application.ScreenUpdating = False

With screen updating turned off in this way, nobody will ever know that you unhid a worksheet and later rehid it. Make sure that before ending the macro, however, you set the ScreenUpdating property back to True.

Remember, as well, that the Selection object (and the Select method) are not the only ways to access information. If you rely, instead, on working with ranges (using the Range method or defining an object using the Range method), then you can easily access information on a hidden worksheet without the need to make it visible.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2548) 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: Running Macros on Hidden Worksheets.

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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