Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Workbook Events.

Workbook Events

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 29, 2014)

In another tip you learned how you can discover the various worksheet events that you can trap and program for in your macros. Excel also allows you to trap different events on a workbook level. You can discover a list of those events in much the same manner as you do for worksheets:

  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 ThisWorkbook item. A code window should appear for the workbook.
  5. At the top of the workbook's code window are two drop-down lists. In the left-hand drop-down list, choose Workbook.

At this point, the right-hand drop-down list contains all the events that you can "trap" for the workbook. The available events may vary, according to your version of Excel. There are 29 different events, too many to list here.

The names of the events should be descriptive enough that you can tell what triggers each of them. Notice that some of the events start with the word "Sheet" and duplicate the names of the worksheet events detailed in the previous tip. These events, because they are at a workbook level, apply to the workbook as a whole, even though they are triggered by events on a worksheet.

For example, if you choose to trap the SheetActivate event, then the macro will be run when any worksheet in the workbook is activated. Contrast this to the Activate event on the worksheet level, which is activated only when that particular worksheet is activated.

If you choose one of the events in the right-hand drop-down list, 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 (9546) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Workbook 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

Making Your Formulas Check for Errors

Want to use a formula to check if there is an error in your formula? (Sounds confusing, but it's not that bad.) You'll ...

Discover More

Working with Form Fields

You know you want to use form fields in your document (they are essential in creating forms, after all) but you need to ...

Discover More

Always Starting with a Blank Document

If you are using Word 2013 or Word 2016, you may have noticed that Microsoft changed what you see when you start the ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Removing All Macros

Macros are stored as part of a workbook so that they are always available when you have the workbook open. If you want to ...

Discover More

Retrieving Drive Statistics

Need to gather some information about the drives on a system? It can be pretty easy to do using a macro, as shown in this ...

Discover More

Reversing Cell Contents

Macros are great at working with text. This tip presents an example that shows this versatility by reversing the contents ...

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 six more than 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.