Creating Workbooks for Individual Worksheets

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 10, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021

Damodar has a workbook that contains a large number of worksheets. He would like to create individual workbooks for each worksheet, but have the name of the workbook be based on a cell (A7) in the worksheet being saved in the new workbook. Damodar knows he can do a "move or copy" of the individual worksheets to get them into new workbooks, but he's looking for something a bit more robust because of the large number of worksheets he's dealing with.

Peeling off worksheets into individual workbooks is relatively easy to do using macro. The following is just one possible macro; it steps through each worksheet and creates a brand-new workbook for each of those worksheets.

Sub SaveEachWks1()
    Dim wkb As Workbook
    Dim wSource As Workbook
    Dim wks As Worksheet
    Dim sPath As String
    Dim sFilename As String

    'Location to store the files. Adjust as needed.
    sPath = "C:\MyPath\"

    ' Make sure process isn't disturbed
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    Application.EnableEvents = False

    Set wSource = ActiveWorkbook

    For Each wks In wSource.Worksheets
        ' Get the filename
        sFilename = wks.Range("A7").Text

        ' Comment out the following if A7 contains a filename extention
        sFilename = sFilename & ".xlsx"

        'Copy the worksheet to a new workbook

        'Define that workbook
        Set wkb = ActiveWorkbook

        ' Save the workbook with path and name, then close
        wkb.SaveAs Filename:=sPath & sFilename
    Next wks

    ' Again allow disturbances
    Application.EnableEvents = True
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

Note that the macro sets the sFilename variable equal to the Text property for cell A7. This is done just in case the cell contains a formula that generates the filename. You should also make sure to comment out the line that adds a filename extension to sFilename if the name in cell A7 already contains a filename extension.

When you run the macro, one workbook is created for each worksheet in your selected workbook. Nothing in the original workbook is disturbed. Note, as well, that the macro takes quite a bit for granted. It doesn't, for instance, check to see if the filename in cell A7 is valid, nor does it check to see if a workbook with that filename already exists. Code to handle such situations could, however, be added to the macro. Here's an example of a more robust macro that does check for these possible problems:

Sub SaveEachWks2()
    Dim WB As Workbook
    Dim WS As Worksheet
    Dim w As Long
    Dim n As Integer
    Dim sPath As String
    Dim sExt As String
    Dim sName As String
    Dim sFile As String

    Const INVALID = "<>:""/\|?*"
    Const INSTEAD = "~"
    Const MAXLEN = 250

    Set WB = ActiveWorkbook
    With Application
        'save new workbooks in the active workbook's folder
        sPath = WB.Path & .PathSeparator
        sExt = IIf(.DefaultSaveFormat = xlWorkbookDefault, ".xlsx", ".xls")
        For Each WS In WB.Worksheets
            'view each worksheet
            .ScreenUpdating = False

            'cell with new workbook's name
            With Range("A7")
                w = .Columns.ColumnWidth
                'make it fit .Text
                sName = Trim(.Text)
                'restore original width
                .Columns.ColumnWidth = w
            End With
            'use worksheet's name if necessary
            If sName = "" Then sName = WS.Name

            'ensure valid workbook name
            For n = 1 To Len(INVALID)
                sName = Replace(sName, Mid(INVALID, n, 1), INSTEAD, 1)
            Next n
            sFile = sPath & sName & sExt

            'check length with margin for duplicate name
            n = Len(sFile) - MAXLEN
            If n > 0 Then
                sName = Left(sName, Len(sName) - n)
                sFile = sPath & sName & sExt
            End If
            n = 1

            'check for file with same name
            Do Until Dir(sFile) = ""
                n = n + 1
                sFile = sPath & sName & " (" & n & ")" & sExt

            'copy worksheet to new workbook, then save and close
            ActiveWorkbook.SaveAs Filename:=sFile
            .ScreenUpdating = True
        Next WS
    End With
    'WB's last worksheet will remain active
    MsgBox WB.Worksheets.Count _
        & " worksheets were copied as new workbooks in folder " _
        & vbNewLine & sPath
End Sub

This macro, if it finds an invalid character in the filename, replaces that character with a tilde (~) so there will be no error in saving the new workbook. It also saves the new workbooks in the same workbook in which the original workbook is saved.

Finally, you can always go the route of relying on an add-in to do the work for you. One add-in suggested by subscribers for Damodar's needs is ASAP Utilities, which you can find at this location:


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 (5272) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021.

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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