Getting Rid of "Copy of"

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 1, 2013)

Anna Lea has a read-only workbook that she uses as a template for a daily report that she creates. The file name is quite long, and ends in 20507xx. When she double-clicks on the workbook, it opens and shows that it is read-only. She makes her changes, and then uses Save As. Since Excel recognizes that the file is read-only, it suggests a new file name that consists of the old one with the words "Copy of" as a prefix. Anna wants to get rid of the "Copy of" so that all she has to do is change the "xx" portion of the file name to create the day's report.

The "Copy of" verbiage is added by Excel automatically. If you are using Save As, there is no way to change this without using a macro to control the saving process. The following macro, saved as part of the ThisWorkbook object, shows how this can be done.

Private Sub Workbook_BeforeSave(ByVal SaveAsUI _
  As Boolean, Cancel As Boolean)
    Dim sTemp As String
    Dim sCheck As String
    sCheck = "xx.xls"

    If SaveAsUI Then
        sTemp = ThisWorkbook.Name
        If Right(sTemp, Len(sCheck)) = sCheck Then
            sTemp = Left(sTemp, Len(sTemp) - Len(sCheck))
            sTemp = sTemp & Format(Now, "dd") & ".xls"
            sTemp = ThisWorkbook.Path & "/" & sTemp
            ThisWorkbook.SaveAs Filename:=sTemp, _
              FileFormat:=xlNormal
            Cancel = True
        End If
    End If
End Sub

The macro first checks to see if the Save As dialog box is about to be displayed. If it is, then the workbook's name is assigned to the sTemp variable. This name is checked to see if the last six characters are "xx.xls" (from the sCheck variable). If they are, then the workbook is assumed to be the one where the name needs to be changed.

First the "xx.xls" characters (or whatever you've assigned to sCheck) are stripped from the end of the workbook name. Then today's date (two digits, for the day of the month) is appended to the file name, followed by the ".xls" suffix. Finally, the workbook is saved using this newly constructed filename. The Cancel flag is set to True so that the Save As dialog box never displays.

Note that the name is never checked for the verbiage "Copy of". The reason for this is simple: The wording is not added to the start of the file name until the actual Save As dialog box is displayed. Before that point (when this event handler is being executed) the workbook name remains unchanged.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3064) 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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