Automatically Opening Macro Workbooks when Using a Shortcut Key

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 18, 2018)

Inna notes that Excel allows her to assign shortcut keys to my macros. However, it looks like the shortcuts will only work if they refer to a macro in an open workbook. She usually has her macros stored in a separate workbook. If a macro is assigned to a toolbar button (or an option on the Quick Access toolbar), the workbook containing the macro is automatically opened so it can be run. This does not happen if Inna uses a keyboard shortcut for the same macro; pressing the shortcut won't load the workbook that contains the macro. She wonders if there is a way around this.

This problem is caused by the fact that Excel stores a fully qualified path to a macro as part of its toolbar info (that means it includes the name of the workbook in which the macro is stored), but it doesn't with the shortcut key info—that only has the macro name itself. This means that a shortcut doesn't know how to find a macro unless it is in a workbook that is open.

The easiest way around the problem would be to move the macros to the Personal.xlsm (or, in older versions of Excel, Personal.xls) workbook. This workbook is loaded automatically loaded when Excel is started, so the macros would always be available and the shortcut keys always work. Detailed information on the workbook can be found here:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/deploy-your-excel-macros-from-a-central-file-HA001087296.aspx

Of course, you can bypass the Personal.xlsm approach by simply moving the workbook containing the macros to the Startup folder used by Excel. Anything in the folder is automatically opened when you first start Excel, which means that the macros in those workbooks would also be accessible.

The workbook containing your macros could also be compiled into an Excel add-in, which would be available at all times. (How you create and use an add-in has been covered in other ExcelTips.)

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 (6401) 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

Changing a Shape

Got a drawing shape you previously added to a document, but you now want to change to a different shape? You can change ...

Discover More

Extracting Street Numbers from an Address

Want to know how to move pieces of information contained in one cell into individual cells? This option exists if using ...

Discover More

Turning Off Automatic Bulleted Lists

As you are typing away on a document, you may notice that Word automatically formats bulleted lists (or what it thinks ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Documenting Changes in VBA Code

Your company may be regulated by requirements that it document any changes to the macros in an Excel worksheet. Your ...

Discover More

Unhiding or Listing All Objects

An Excel workbook can contain quite a few different objects. Sometimes those objects can be hidden so that they are not ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Alphabetic Characters

When you need to get rid of characters in the middle of a cell value, the best way to do it is through the use of macros. ...

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 3 - 3?

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.