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

Applying Text Options in WordArt

WordArt is a great tool for adding color and variety to your documents. Here's how to apply different types of ...

Discover More

Accessing Paragraphs in a Macro

Need to process a document, paragraph by paragraph, in a macro? It's easy to do once you understand that Word's object ...

Discover More

Printing Index Field Codes

Word allows you to configure what you see so that field codes are visible instead of the results of those field codes. ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Seeing All Open Workbook Names

Ever want to see a list of all the workbooks that are open? If you open more than nine, Excel only displays the first ...

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

Remembering Commonly Used Workbooks

Want a quick way to access the workbooks you use most often? You can "pin" the workbooks so they can be opened with a click.

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 8 + 3?

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.