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 a Macro when a Worksheet is Activated.

Running a Macro when a Worksheet is Activated

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 17, 2014)


Excel allows you to define macros that are executed whenever certain well-defined events occur in the Excel environment. One of those events is when a worksheet is activated. For instance, you could create a macro that defined a custom menu structure whenever a particular worksheet is displayed.

In order to create a macro that runs when a worksheet is activated, follow these steps:

  1. Display the VBA Editor by pressing Alt+F11.
  2. In the Project window, at the left side of the Editor, double-click on the name of the worksheet that you want to affect. (You may need to first open the VBAProject folder, and then open the Microsoft Excel Objects folder under it.) The code window for the worksheet should appear.
  3. In the code window, use the right pull-down list (there are two pull-down lists just below the title bar of the code window) to select the Activate option. The following code should appear in the code window:
     Private Sub Worksheet_Activate()

     End Sub
  1. In this new subroutine enter the macro you want executed whenever the worksheet is activated.
  2. Close the VBA Editor.

Remember that a macro defined in this way is run every time the worksheet is activated, not just the first time. Think about how you use Excel; it is possible to activate a worksheet several dozen times during the course of a session.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2564) 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 a Macro when a Worksheet is Activated.

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. ...


Changing Headers and Footers

Editing what is in your page header or footer is fairly easy, and you can use the same editing techniques you already ...

Discover More

Converting from Works to Word

Got some files in an older version of Works? Here's how to get them into Word.

Discover More

Quickly Inserting Table Rows

Need to pop a few extra rows into a table? It is easy to do using the same tools you used to create the table in the ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Synchronized Workbook and Worksheet Names

When you work on older workbooks in Excel, you may notice that the name of the worksheet tab and the workbook itself are ...

Discover More

Relative Worksheet References

Copy a formula from one place to another and Excel helpfully adjusts the cell references within the formula. That is, it ...

Discover More

Quickly Inserting a New Worksheet

Want a quick way to insert a worksheet? There's nothing faster than using the handy shortcut.

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 5 + 9?

2016-04-08 02:04:20


Hi, may I know if its possible to run a VBA code and create a new worksheet, then setting a macro to one of the events (worksheet_activate) through coding? Thank you!

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

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.