Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Worksheet Events.

Worksheet Events

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 14, 2017)

1

One of the beauties of creating macros for Excel is that they can be event-driven. This means that you can create macros that will run automatically when specific, well-defined events happen within Excel. These events can happen either on a worksheet or a workbook level.

The easiest way to see what worksheet events are available is to follow these steps:

  1. Press Alt+F11 to display the VBA Editor.
  2. In the Project Explorer window (upper-left corner of the VBA Editor), find the project (workbook) that you are working on.
  3. Expand the project, if necessary, by clicking the plus sign to the left of the project name. You should see all the worksheets in the project listed.
  4. Double-click the worksheet you want to work with. A code window should appear for the worksheet.
  5. At the top of the worksheet's code window are two drop-down lists. In the left-hand drop-down list, choose Worksheet.

At this point, the right-hand drop-down list contains all the events that you can "trap" for this worksheet. The available events may vary, according to your version of Excel. The following events are available:

  • Activate
  • BeforeDoubleClick
  • BeforeRightClick
  • Calculate
  • Change
  • Deactivate
  • FollowHyperlink
  • PivotTableUpdate
  • SelectionChange

The names of the events should be descriptive enough that you can tell what triggers each of them. If you choose one of the events, you can create the macro you want run when the event actually occurs.

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 (9545) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Worksheet Events.

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

Relative Worksheet References

Copy a formula from one place to another and Excel helpfully adjusts the cell references within the formula. That is, it ...

Discover More

Counting Jobs Completed On a Date

When you store the date and time in a single cell, it can be a bit confusing to count how many cells contain a particular ...

Discover More

Setting Default Attributes for Lines and Arrows

Don't like the way that Excel formats lines and arrows? You can easily make your own formatting changes, and then use ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Engineering Calculations

Need to normalize your data in some way so that all your values are in a given format? This tip presents a number of ...

Discover More

Quickly Dumping Array Contents

Variable arrays are used quite often in macros. If you use an array once in your macro and then need to reuse it for ...

Discover More

Adding Leading Zeroes to ZIP Codes

Import a bunch of ZIP Codes into Excel, and you may be surprised that any leading zeroes disappear. Here's a handy little ...

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 5 + 9?

2015-10-05 15:37:23

Roger L Moreno

Good afternoon; I have recently joined as a member to this site, and have bought the Macro Tips ebook. I'm also new to Excel macros and find this blog to be of most interesting and helpful. The best that I like is the simplicity of the different topics and the diversity of such topics.

Thank you very much


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu 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.