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: Workbook Events.

Workbook Events

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 21, 2015)

In the previous tip you learned how you can discover the various events that you can trap and program for in your macros. Excel also allows you to trap different events on a workbook level. You can discover a list of those events in much the same manner as you do for worksheets:

  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 ThisWorkbook item. A code window should appear for the workbook.
  5. At the top of the workbook's code window are two drop-down lists. In the left-hand drop-down list, choose Workbook.

At this point, the right-hand drop-down list contains all the events that you can "trap" for the workbook. The available events may vary, according to your version of Excel. In Excel 2003 there are 28 different events, too many to list here.

The names of the events should be descriptive enough that you can tell what triggers each of them. Notice that some of the events start with the word "Sheet" and duplicate the names of the worksheet events detailed in the previous tip. These events, because they are at a workbook level, apply to the workbook as a whole, even though they are triggered by events on a worksheet.

For example, if you choose to trap the SheetActivate event, then the macro will be run when any worksheet in the workbook is activated. Contrast this to the Activate event on the worksheet level, which is activated only when that particular worksheet is activated.

If you choose one of the events in the right-hand drop-down list, you can create the macro you want run when the event actually occurs.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2570) 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: Workbook 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Opening a Document as Read-Only in Windows Explorer

Want to open your Word document as read-only? Here's a little trick to help you accomplish the task from within Explorer.

Discover More

Filling a Cell

One way you can format a cell is so that its contents are repeated over and over again for the entire width of the cell. ...

Discover More

Controlling the Format of Cross-References

When you use fields to add cross-references to tables or figures, Word normally takes care of formatting the words used ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Clearing the Undo Stack in a Macro

Excel keeps track of the actions you take so that you can undo those actions if any are taken in error. You may want to ...

Discover More

Reversing Cell Contents

Macros are great at working with text. This tip presents an example that shows this versatility by reversing the contents ...

Discover More

Item Not Available in Library

When sharing workbooks with others, you may find that the macros in those workbooks may not work as you expect. This tip ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

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 four more than 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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
Subscribe

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.