Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 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: Requiring Input.

Requiring Input

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 3, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


When you are developing a worksheet that will be used by other people, you may want to make sure that they fill in certain cells before they are allowed to close the workbook. There is no built-in function in Excel to do this, but you can create a macro that will make the necessary check and stop the user for proceeding. This can be a rather simple macro, tied to the BeforeClose event.

The BeforeClose event is triggered whenever a workbook is closed by whatever means. The trick is the setting of the Cancel property within the event handler. Setting Cancel to True will stop the closing of the workbook and leaving it unchanged results in the workbook closing normally.

For example, the following macro checks whether cell A1 has anything in it; if it does, then the workbook is closed. If it doesn't, then the user is informed that something is missing, and the closing is canceled.

Private Sub Workbook_BeforeClose(Cancel As Boolean)
    If Cells(1, 1).Value = "" Then
        MsgBox "Please fill cell A1"
        Cancel = True
    End If
End Sub

More elaborate macros can be created, if desired. For instance, you might have several different cells that need to be checked. The following version checks a range named "Mandatory" to see if each cell in the range contains something. If any of the cells are empty, then the workbook cannot be saved or closed. (This macro is triggered not only during the BeforeClose event, but also during the BeforeSave event.) These two event handlers should be placed in the code sheet for the workbook:

Private Sub Workbook_BeforeClose(Cancel As Boolean)
    Cancel = ForceDataEntry()
End Sub
Private Sub Workbook_BeforeSave(ByVal SaveAsUI As Boolean, _
  Cancel As Boolean)
    Cancel = ForceDataEntry()
End Sub

Note that the event handlers call the ForceDataEntry function. This function should be placed in a regular macro module:

Function ForceDataEntry() As Boolean
    Dim rng As Range
    Dim c As Variant
    Dim rngCount As Integer
    Dim CellCount As Integer

    Set rng = Range("Mandatory")
    rngCount = rng.Count

    CellCount = 0
    For Each c In rng
        If Len(c) > 0 Then
            CellCount = CellCount + 1
        End If
    Next c
    ForceDataEntry = False
    If CellCount <> rngCount Then ForceDataEntry = True
End Function

You should note that any implementation that requires macros (like this one does) suffers from one potential problem—users can decide to not enable macros when the workbook is loaded. If they run the workbook with the macros disabled, then they will still be able to save the workbook without all the mandatory cells containing values.

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 (9574) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Requiring Input.

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

Ignoring Punctuation in Names

If you have a word that includes punctuation as part of the word itself, then you may be frustrated by how Word treats ...

Discover More

Generating a Font Sample Sheet

You can have quite a few fonts installed on your system, each of them managed by Windows. If you would like a document ...

Discover More

Too Many Edits Prevent Pasting

Sometimes Word can be rather cryptic in the error messages it provides. One such cryptic message warns about "too many ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Ignoring Special Characters when Double-Clicking

If a word contains a special character within it, Excel actually thinks the single word is two words. This tip examines ...

Discover More

Entering Data as Thousands

There are many different ways you may need to enter data in a worksheet. For instance, you might want to enter data in ...

Discover More

Combining Multiple Rows in a Column

Do you need to concatenate the contents of a range of cells in the same column? Here's a formula and a handy macro to ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 seven more than 6?

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.