Fixing Macro Button Behavior in Protected Worksheets

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 23, 2018)

Robin asked a question concerning an oddity in Excel. She creates a worksheet that contains a button drawn using the Forms toolbar, and assigns a macro to the button. The button works fine until the worksheet is protected, then the entire top section of the worksheet acts as a button. (The hand icon appears no matter where you move the mouse, and when you click the macro executes—you don't have to click on the button itself.)

The problem does not occur with all items from the Forms toolbar, but only occurs under certain circumstances. It primarily occurs because a macro button is associated with a cell (such as cell B2), and then the cell is deleted. This means the button is essentially "unattached," so Excel is confused as to where the button belongs. When the worksheet is protected, Excel acts oddly because it believes that the button is "everywhere" since it doesn't really know where the button belongs.

The obvious solution is to make sure that the macro button is always attached to a cell that doesn't get deleted. Unprotect the workbook, select the sliver of the button near the column headers, and move it to a cell you want to associate it with. Reprotect the worksheet and the odd behavior should disappear.

If you cannot see the button that is causing the problem, it could be because it is too small. The solution to that situation is to run a macro that searches for all the buttons in the worksheet and makes them visible. On the unprotected worksheet, run the following:

Sub CheckShapes()
    Dim myShape As Shape
    For Each myShape In ActiveSheet.Shapes
        With myShape
            If .Height < 2 Then .Height = 20
            If .Width < 2 Then .Width = 20
        End With
    Next myShape
End Sub

The macro steps through all the shapes in the worksheet and, if they have a height or width less than 2 pixels, increases their height and width so they are visible. Now you should be able to see the macro button and can drag it to a location on the worksheet or delete it.

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 (2830) 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Word 2010 Indexes and Special Tables (Table of Contents)

One of the finishing touches used in some types of documents are an index or a special table, such as a table of ...

Discover More

Calculated Dates

Word makes it easy to insert today's date in a document, but not as easy to insert a date X number of days in the future. ...

Discover More

Collating Copies

When you print multiple copies of worksheets that require more than one page each, you'll probably want those copies ...

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)

Determining the Hour of the Day

Need to know the current hour of the day? You can derive the information in your macros by using the Hour function, as ...

Discover More

Making Common Functions Available to Others

When you use macros to create functions, you might want to share those functions with others, particularly if they ...

Discover More

Moving Macros from the Personal Workbook

Need to move a macro out of your Personal.xls workbook and into a regular workbook? You can do it using familiar editing ...

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 9 - 6?

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.