Disabling Printing

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 28, 2014)

If you are creating workbooks to be used by others, you may be interested in disabling the print options (menu and toolbar) whenever a specific workbook is open. The easiest way to do so is to use the Auto_Open macro (which runs immediately upon opening the workbook that contains it) to make the menu and toolbar printing commands no longer available. The following will do the trick nicely:

Sub Auto_Open()
    'Prevent Printing via menu
    MenuBars(xlWorksheet).Menus("File").MenuItems("Print...").Delete

    'Turn off Print icon wherever it may be in the toolbars
    For J = 1 To Toolbars.Count
        For K = 1 To Toolbars(J).ToolbarButtons.Count
            If Toolbars(J).ToolbarButtons(K).Id = 2 Then
                Toolbars(J).ToolbarButtons(K).Enabled = False
            End If
            If Toolbars(J).ToolbarButtons(K).Id = 3 Then
                Toolbars(J).ToolbarButtons(K).Enabled = False
            End If
        Next K
    Next J
End Sub

You can also create a special Auto_Close macro that restores the menus and toolbars when the workbook is closed:

Sub Auto_Close()
    'Reset the menu items
    For Each mb In MenuBars
        mb.Reset
    Next mb

    'Reset the buttons
    For J = 1 To Toolbars.Count
        For K = 1 To Toolbars(J).ToolbarButtons.Count
            If Toolbars(J).ToolbarButtons(K).Id = 2 Then
                Toolbars(J).ToolbarButtons(K).Enabled = True
            End If
            If Toolbars(J).ToolbarButtons(K).Id = 3 Then
                Toolbars(J).ToolbarButtons(K).Enabled = True
            End If
        Next K
    Next J
End Sub

You should note that these macros only run when the specific workbook is opened and closed. That means that your printing capability will be unavailable as long as the workbook is open—even for any other open workbooks you may have.

Another approach is to cancel any printing before it starts. The following is a macro you can place within a workbook module:

Private Sub Workbook_BeforePrint(Cancel As Boolean)
    Cancel = True
End Sub

Whenever someone tries to print the workbook, the process is automatically cancelled. Otherwise, the menu choices and toolbar buttons remain visible. (You could also change the macro to not only cancel but to display a message box indicating that users are not allowed to print.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2556) 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. ...

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