Closing a Read-Only Workbook

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 22, 2019)

Gary has a read-only workbook that multiple users can access. They can modify cells but not save their work. On exiting the workbook, Gary wants Excel to just close without informing the user that it is read-only and giving them the option of saving a copy.

This is best accomplished by using a macro to modify the Saved flag in the workbook, just before closing. This flag indicates, internally, whether a workbook needs saving or not. If the flag is False, then Excel knows that the workbook has not been saved (changes have been made without saving). If your macro sets the flag to True, then Excel will close directly because it thinks that all the changes have been saved.

Here's what the macro should look like, at its simplest:

Private Sub Workbook_BeforeClose(Cancel As Boolean)
  If ThisWorkbook.ReadOnly Then
    ThisWorkbook.Saved = True
  End If
End Sub

The macro should be added to the ThisWorkbook object in the VBA Editor. That way, it is automatically executed just before the workbook is closed. The flag is set to True, and when the macro ends, Excel continues with its normal closing procedures. Since Excel thinks that there are no unsaved changes, the user sees no message and the workbook is closed.

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 (10349) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365.

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

Conditionally Adding a Period in a Mail Merge

When merging data into a Word document, you may want to add information to the document based on an evaluation of what is ...

Discover More

Displaying a Hidden First Row

If you hide the first rows of a worksheet, you may have a hard time getting those rows visible again. Here's a simple way ...

Discover More

Including Weeks in Elapsed Time

When showing how much time has elapsed between two dates, it is sometimes helpful to express the result in terms of ...

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)

Making Data Universally Accessible to Workbooks

If you are using Excel as a repository for data used in your business, you may want to figure out a way to make that ...

Discover More

Sharing Your Workbook

Need to allow others to contribute to your Excel workbook? It's easy to do if you just share it. This tip provides an ...

Discover More

Creating a Workbook Clone

If you are afraid of messing up a workbook, consider doing your work on a clone of the workbook. Excel provides an easy ...

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 nine minus 5?

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.