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 July 6, 2020)

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.)

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 (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

Drawing Borders

Adding borders around cells is a common formatting task. You can make the task more intuitive by actually drawing the ...

Discover More

Unwanted Hyperlinks

Tired of having Excel convert what you type into active hyperlinks? Here are things you can do to undo Excel's ...

Discover More

Out of Kilter Borders

Borders not printing properly? It could be any one of a number of reasons causing the problem. This tip provides some ...

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)

Running Macros on Hidden Worksheets

Excel allows you to hide worksheets so that they aren't visible to those using your workbook. Hiding worksheets has a ...

Discover More

Creating a Floating Macro Button

Macros can make your use of Excel much more powerful. If you have a macro that is triggered by an on-screen button, you ...

Discover More

Editing Macros

Even if you do nothing but record macros, sooner or later you will have a need to edit what you record. Here's how to get ...

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 five more than 5?

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.