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.)

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

Forcing the Properties Dialog Box to Appear

Do you want the Properties dialog box to appear when you first save a Word document? You can configure Word so that it ...

Discover More

Counting All Graphics

Need to know how many graphics a document contains? Getting at the true number may take a little more work than it first ...

Discover More

Importing Multiple Files to a Single Workbook

If you use Excel to work with data exported from another program, you might be interested in a way to import a large ...

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)

Macro Fails after Filter

When developing a macro that others may use, you might want to test it out to make sure it works properly if a filter is ...

Discover More

Using SUM In a Macro

Want to use a worksheet function (such as SUM) from within a macro? Here's how easy it is to accomplish the task.

Discover More

Making a Cell's Contents Italics within a Macro

You can use macros to process information in your worksheets. You may want to use that macro to apply the italic ...

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 2 + 4?

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.