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: Worksheet Events.

Worksheet Events

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 19, 2017)

One of the beauties of creating macros for Excel is that they can be event-driven. This means that you can create macros that will run automatically when specific, well-defined events happen within Excel. These events can happen either on a worksheet or a workbook level.

The easiest way to see what worksheet events are available is to follow these steps:

  1. Press Alt+F11 to display the VBA Editor.
  2. In the Project Explorer window (upper-left corner of the VBA Editor), find the project (workbook) that you are working on.
  3. Expand the project, if necessary, by clicking the plus sign to the left of the project name. You should see all the worksheets in the project listed.
  4. Double-click the worksheet you want to work with. A code window should appear for the worksheet.
  5. At the top of the worksheet's code window are two drop-down lists. In the left-hand drop-down list, choose Worksheet.

At this point, the right-hand drop-down list contains all the events that you can "trap" for this worksheet. The available events may vary, according to your version of Excel. In Excel 2003 the following events are available:

  • Activate
  • BeforeDoubleClick
  • BeforeRightClick
  • Calculate
  • Change
  • Deactivate
  • FollowHyperlink
  • PivotTableUpdate
  • SelectionChange

The names of the events should be descriptive enough that you can tell what triggers each of them. If you choose one of the events, you can create the macro you want run when the event actually occurs.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2569) 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: Worksheet Events.

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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