Executing a Macro After Printing is Done

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 23, 2019)

Franklin has a macro that hides some rows in a worksheet and then prints the worksheet. To do this he uses the BeforePrint event handler. The problem is, Franklin wants to unhide the rows automatically after the printing is completed. He doesn't know how to do this within his macro.

There are a few ways you can approach this. One is to use the BeforePrint event handler and use it to hide the rows you want and then to specify a macro to run via the OnTime method. Here's the way the event handler would look:

Private Sub Workbook_BeforePrint(Cancel As Boolean)
    ' Code here to hide rows desired

    Application.OnTime Now, "AfterPrint"
End Sub

You'll need to add to this event handler the code to hide the rows you want hidden. (Franklin said that he had such code working; it was unhiding them after printing that he was having problems with.) Note that the macro being called via OnTime is one called AfterPrint. This macro should be placed within a regular module, not in the same module as the event handlers are placed. It can be even simpler than the event handler:

Sub AfterPrint()
    ' Code here to unhide rows
    Cells.Select
    Selection.EntireRow.Hidden = False
End Sub

You could also, if desired, bypass the need for the OnTime method (and the AfterPrint macro) completely. This would involve this approach:

Private Sub Workbook_BeforePrint(Cancel As Boolean)
    Cancel = True
    ' Code here to hide rows desired

    Application.EnableEvents = False
    ActiveSheet.PrintOut
    Application.EnableEvents = True

    ' Code here to unhide rows
End Sub

The macro works because it cancels the print that triggered the BeforePrint event, hides the rows, prints out the active worksheet, and then unhides the rows.

The drawback to any such event-handler-based approach is that it limits what the user can print. In other words, the user can only print what you allow them to print, not what they may actually want to print. To get around this rather large limitation, you'll need to abandon the BeforePrint approach completely. Instead, create a regular macro that handles the printing:

Sub PrintWS()
    ' Code here to hide rows desired

    Application.EnableEvents = False
    ActiveSheet.PrintOut
    Application.EnableEvents = True

    ' Code here to unhide rows
End Sub

You'll note that this is, essentially, the guts of the second BeforePrint approach—you hide rows, print the worksheet, and then unhide the rows. This PrintWS macro could then be tied to a shortcut key or something on the Quick Access Toolbar so it can be called easily.

By the way, if you decide to go with one of the BeforePrint approaches, there have been reports of it not working properly in all versions of Excel. (This seems very hard to track down.) What happens is that in some versions, what Excel prints is "set in stone" before the BeforePrint event handler is invoked. This means that any rows you hide within the event handler are ignored when the worksheet is actually printed, so it is as if you never hid the rows in the macro. The only way around this very frustrating fact is to handle the printing yourself, directly, either through the second BeforePrint example above or the PrintWS macro approach.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (13624) 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. ...

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