Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. 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: Running a Macro When a Worksheet is Deactivated.

Running a Macro when a Worksheet is Deactivated

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 9, 2019)

It is possible to configure Excel so that a macro of your choosing is executed every time a particular worksheet is deactivated. What does that mean? Simply that a macro can be run every time you click on a worksheet tab to leave the current sheet. There are two ways you can do this. Here's the first method:

  1. Activate the worksheet with which you want the macro associated.
  2. Make sure the Formulas tab of the ribbon is displayed.
  3. In the Defined Names area of the ribbon, click Define Name. Excel displays the New Name dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The New Name dialog box.

  5. In the Name field, enter a name that begins with the worksheet name, followed by an exclamation point, Auto_Deactivate, and any other wording desired. Thus, if the worksheet were named Stocks, you might enter Stocks!Auto_Deactivate_Exit.
  6. In the Refers to box, enter a formula that points to the workbook and macro you want automatically executed. Thus, if the macro name were Update_PL, and the workbook name were PFOLIO.XLS, you would enter the formula =PFolio!Update_PL.
  7. Click on the OK button.

The second method is to rely on the Worksheet_Deactivate event. Right-click the worksheet's tab (at the bottom of the Excel window) and choose Code Window from the resulting options. This opens the Visual Basic Editor and you can then put the following into the Code window:

Private Sub Worksheet_Deactivate()
    Call Update_PL
End Sub

This, again, assumes that the macro you want to run is called Update_PL. You can then close the Visual Basic Editor.

Remember that the macro you set up using either of these approaches is run every time the worksheet is deactivated, not just the first time. Think about how you use Excel; if you spend a fair amount of time hopping between worksheets in a workbook or between workbooks, it is possible to deactivate a worksheet several dozen times during the course of a session.

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 (6138) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Running a Macro When a Worksheet is Deactivated.

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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