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: Tying Workbooks Together.

Tying Workbooks Together

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 4, 2013)

Don wonders if there is a way to "tie" two or more workbooks together so they are always open (and closed) at the same time. One relatively easy way to get close to this desire is to create, within Excel, what is called a workspace. You can do this by following these general steps:

  1. Open all the workbooks you want to be used together.
  2. Choose Save Workspace from the File menu.

That's it; Excel creates a workspace file that includes information about the workbooks you currently have open. Later, when you want all the workbooks open, you can simply open the workspace file (it has an xlw extension) and all the workbooks that make up that file are opened.

While this is a great way to open all the workbooks you need at one time, it doesn't answer the requirement of always having those workbooks be open. For instance, your workspace may include five workbooks, but once opened you can easily close one, two, or more of the individual workbooks in the workspace. The requirement that it be "all or nothing" for the member workbooks isn't met.

If you want to make sure that all the requirements are met, then the only way you can do it is to use a macro. You could include a Workbook_Open event-handler macro in all five of the workbooks that checked to see if the other workbooks in the group were open or not. If they weren't, then the macro could open them. You would also need to create a Workbook_BeforeClose event handler that would make sure that all the other workbooks in the group were closed.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8144) 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: Tying Workbooks Together.

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

Displaying Shortcut Keys in ScreenTips

ScreenTips can appear with or without shortcut keys displayed in them. Here's how to control whether they appear or not.

Discover More

Checking for an Entry in a Cell

You may be looking for a way to have a formula determine if a particular cell has anything in it. Here's how you can find the ...

Discover More

Decreasing Space between Body Text and Footer Text

Figuring out how you want the text in your document to appear on the printed page can sometimes be a bit perplexing. Word ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Seeing All Open Workbook Names

Ever want to see a list of all the workbooks that are open? If you open more than nine, Excel only displays the first nine ...

Discover More

Printing a List of Named Ranges

You already know that you can define names that apply to different ranges of cells and other elements such as formulas. ...

Discover More

Sharing Your Workbook

Need to allow others to contribute to your Excel workbook? It's easy to do if you just share it. This tip provides an ...

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. 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 6 - 0?

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.