Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Opening an HTML Page in a Macro.

Opening an HTML Page in a Macro

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 6, 2024)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Excel is a "Web aware" program, meaning that it knows how to handle hyperlinks. You can add a hyperlink in a document, click on that link, and Excel opens your Web browser and displays the contents of that link in the browser. (You can also create a hyperlink to other Office documents, including Excel workbooks.) You can even create hyperlinks to different objects on your worksheet, such as a command button in a form.

What if you want to start the browser and open an HTML file from within a VBA macro, however? There are a couple of ways that you can do this. The first is to simply open a new Internet Explorer object within your code. A macro to do this would appear as follows:

Sub DoBrowse1()
    Dim ie As Object
    Set ie = CreateObject("Internetexplorer.Application")
    ie.Visible = True
    ie.Navigate "c:\temp\MyHTMLfile.htm"
End Sub

This macro will open the file c:\temp\MyHTMLfile.htm in a new Internet Explorer window. If you want to instead open a Web page from over the Internet, you can do so simply by changing where you want to navigate. (Replace the file path with a URL.)

Another way to accomplish the same task is to rely on Excel to figure out what your default browser is and open the HTML resource. The following macro does the trick:

Sub DoBrowse2()
    ActiveWorkbook.FollowHyperlink _
      Address:="c:\temp\MyHTMLfile.htm", _
      NewWindow:=True
End Sub

Again, the browser opens a new window and displays the specified file. You can change the Address parameter to any URL that you desire.

If you prefer, you can also access the default browser by launching a scripting shell and "running" a URL, in this manner:

Sub DoBrowse3()
    CreateObject("WScript.Shell").Run "https://excelribbon.tips.net/"
End Sub

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 (154) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Opening an HTML Page in a Macro.

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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