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: Open Workbooks Don't Display.

Open Workbooks Don't Display

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 30, 2015)

Dan has several Excel workbooks he cannot open and several that he can. When he attempts to open the problem workbooks he is asked about updating links but he does not get any error messages. The open process seems to complete, but the workbook does not display. If he tries to open the workbook again, Excel tells him the file is already open. If he tries to close Excel, he is asked if he wants to save the workbook. Otherwise, there is no evidence that the workbook is open. Dan wonders how he can get around this.

There are two likely scenarios here. First, it could be that your worksheets are hidden. You can check this by following these steps:

  1. Choose Sheet from the Format menu. Excel displays a submenu.
  2. Choose Unhide from the submenu. Excel displays the Unhide dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Unhide dialog box.

  4. Select the worksheet name you want to unhide.
  5. Click on OK.

Second, it could be that the worksheet is actually visible, but simply off screen. You can check this by simply right-clicking on the task bar and selecting Cascade Windows from the resulting Context menu.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11854) 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: Open Workbooks Don't Display.

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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