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: Displaying the First Worksheet in a Macro.

Displaying the First Worksheet in a Macro

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 19, 2016)

1

Terri has a macro that runs automatically when a worksheet is opened. One thing it does is to display the first worksheet in the workbook, which is usually called "Consolidated." This works great, unless the first worksheet doesn't have this name. Then Terri must remember to change the macro to specify a different worksheet name. She wonders if there is a way to write her macro so that the first worksheet is always displayed, regardless of its name?

Normally, as Terri alludes to, you would display a given worksheet by using its name in the statement, in this manner:

Worksheets("Consolidated").Activate

This works great, as long as there is a worksheet by this name (Consolidated) in the workbook. Displaying a particular worksheet (like the first one in the workbook) when you don't know what the name of that worksheet might be takes a different approach.

The simple answer is to start referring to the worksheet using its position within the Worksheets collection. All the worksheets in a workbook belong to a collection of worksheet objects. This collection is (oddly enough) referred to as the Worksheets collection. You can refer to an individual worksheet in the collection by name (as was done in the previous example) or you can refer to them by using an index number within the collection. For instance, you can activate the first worksheet in the collection in this manner:

Worksheets(1).Activate

Using this method, it really doesn't matter what the name of the first worksheet is; it could easily be "Consolidated" or some other name. Excel dutifully activates the first worksheet in the workbook.

The only time this wouldn't work is if the first worksheet in your workbook is hidden. If the worksheet is not visible, then Excel automatically (after execution of this statement) displays the first visible worksheet.

Note that this displays the first (leftmost) worksheet tab in the workbook. If you instead want to display the first created worksheet in a workbook, regardless of its position, you can try a different approach. Each worksheet has (for lack of a better term) a behind-the-scenes "code name." These code names should sound familiar; they are Sheet1, Sheet2, Sheet3, etc. These names are retained even though you may change the name of the worksheet itself or change the position of the tabs. If you want to display the first worksheet created (again, regardless of position), you could try the following:

Sheet1.Activate

There is one caveat to this: It is possible that the code name for your worksheets has been changed, if you write the programming code to do so. If that is the case, then the above statement may not provide the results desired. (Testing is always a good idea.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12272) 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: Displaying the First Worksheet in a Macro.

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

Letters and Numbers in Page Numbers

A common task is to add page numbers to document headers and footers. If you want those page numbers to include more than ...

Discover More

Automatically Sorting as You Enter Information

When entering information into a worksheet, you may want it to always be in a correctly sorted order. Excel allows you to ...

Discover More

Determining the RGB Value of a Color

Excel allows you to fill a cell's background with just about any color you want. If you need to determine the RGB value of ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Adding Buttons to Your Worksheet

You can easily add a button to your worksheet that will allow you to run various macros. This tip shows how easy it is.

Discover More

Checking if a Workbook is Already Open

Knowing of a workbook is already open can be a prerequisite to your macro working correctly. Here's how to check it out.

Discover More

Calculating Only the Active Workbook

When you enter information into a workbook, Excel automatically recalculates every worksheet in every open workbook on your ...

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 four less than 9?

2017-04-05 12:59:45

Ivor Shaer

All the tips on how to move a specific sheet to the front of the workbook fall short, because it is not always that Sheet(1) is the first sheet, particularly if you have created a number of sheets, sorted them alphabetically and then want to place a specific sheet ("SheetIndex") at the front. Note that from workbook to workbook, the sheet names are different in names and numbers.


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.