Run a macro

There are several ways to run a macro in Microsoft Excel. A macro is an action or a set of actions that you can use to automate tasks. Macros are recorded in the Visual Basic for Applications programming language. You can always run a macro by clicking the Macros command on the ribbon (Developer tab, Code group). Depending on how a macro is assigned to run, you might also be able to run it by pressing a CTRL combination shortcut key (shortcut key: A function key or key combination, such as F5 or CTRL+A, that you use to carry out a menu command. In contrast, an access key is a key combination, such as ALT+F, that moves the focus to a menu, command, or control.), by clicking a button on the Quick Access Toolbar or in a custom group on the ribbon. or by clicking an area on an object, graphic, or control. In addition, you can run a macro automatically when you open a workbook.

Note    When you set the macro security level in Excel to Disable all macros without notification, Excel will run only those macros that are digitally signed or stored in a trusted location, such as the Excel startup folder on your computer. If the macro that you want to run is not digitally signed (digital signature: An electronic, encryption-based, secure stamp of authentication on a macro or document. This signature confirms that the macro or document originated from the signer and has not been altered.) or located in a trusted location (trusted location: A folder or file path on your computer or a location on your intranet from which it is safe to run code. Default trusted locations include the Templates, Addins, and Startup folders, and you can specify your own trusted locations.), you can temporarily change the security level that enables all macros.

What do you want to do?


Run a macro

Before you run macros

You may first need to change a few settings in Excel before you can run macros:

  1. If the Developer tab is not available, do the following to display it:
    1. Click the File tab, click Options, and then click the Customize Ribbon category.
    2. In the Main Tabs list, select the Developer check box, and then click OK.
  2. To set the security level temporarily to enable all macros, do the following:
  1. On the Developer tab, in the Code group, click Macro Security.

Code group on the Developer tab

  1. In the Macro Settings category, under Macro Settings, click Enable all macros (not recommended; potentially dangerous code can run), and then click OK.

Note    To help prevent potentially dangerous code from running, we recommend that you return to any one of the settings that disable all macros after you finish working with macros.

Run the macro

  1. Open the workbook that contains the macro.
  2. On the Developer tab, in the Code group, click Macros.
  3. In the Macro name box, click the macro that you want to run.
    Code group on the Developer tab
  4. Do one of the following:
  • To run a macro in an Excel workbook, click Run.

Tip    You can also press CTRL+F8 to run the macro. You can interrupt the execution of the macro by pressing ESC.

  • To run a macro from a Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) module, click Edit, and then on the Run menu, click Run Sub/UserForm , or press F5.

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Run a macro by pressing a CTRL combination shortcut key

  1. If the Developer tab is not available, do the following to display it:
    1. Click the File tab, click Options, and then click the Customize Ribbon category.
    2. In the Main Tabs list, select the Developer check box, and then click OK.
  2. On the Developer tab, in the Code group, click Macros.Code group on the Developer tab
  3. In the Macro name box, click the macro that you want to assign to a CTRL combination shortcut key.
  4. Click Options.

The Macro Options dialog box appears.

  1. In the Shortcut key box, type any lowercase letter or uppercase letter that you want to use with the CTRL key.

Note    The shortcut key will override any equivalent default Excel shortcut key while the workbook that contains the macro is open.

For a list of CTRL combination shortcut keys that are already assigned in Excel, see the article Excel shortcut and function keys.

  1. In the Description box, type a description of the macro.
  2. Click OK to save your changes, and then click Cancel to close the Macro dialog box.

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Run a macro by clicking a button on the Quick Access Toolbar

To add a button to the Quick Access Toolbar that will run a macro, do the following:

  1. Click the File tab, Options, and then click Quick Access Toolbar.
  2. In the Choose commands from list, select Macros.
  3. In the list, click the macro that you created, and then click Add.
  4. To change the button image of the macro, select the macro in the box to which it was added, and then click Modify.
  5. Under Symbol, click the button image that you want to use.
  6. To change the name of the macro that is displayed when you rest the pointer on the button, in the Display name box, type the name that you want to use.
  7. Click OK to add the macro button to the Quick Access Toolbar.
  8. On the Quick Access Toolbar, click the macro button that you just added.

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Run a macro by clicking a button in a custom group on the ribbon

By taking advantage of the customizability of the ribbon in Excel 2010, you can create a custom group that appears on a tab in the ribbon, and then assign a macro to a button in that group. For example, you can add a custom group named "My Macros" to the Developer tab, and then add a macro (that appears as a button) to the new group.

To learn more, see the article Customize the ribbon.

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Run a macro by clicking an area on a graphic object

You can create a hot spot on a graphic that users can click to run a macro.

  1. In the worksheet, insert a graphic object, such as a picture, clip art, shape, or SmartArt.

To learn about inserting a graphic object, see Add, change, or delete shapes.

  1. To create a hot spot on the existing object, on the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Shapes, select the shape that you want to use, and then draw that shape on the existing object.

Illustrations group on the Insert tab

  1. Right-click the hot spot that you created, and then click Assign Macro.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • To assign an existing macro to the graphic object, double-click the macro or enter its name in the Macro name box.
    • To record a new macro to assign to the selected graphic object, click Record, type a name for the macro in the Record Macro dialog box, and then click OK to begin recording your macro. When you finish recording the macro, click Stop Recording Button image on the Developer tab in the Code group.

Tip    You can also click Stop Recording Button image on the left side of the status bar.

  • To edit an existing macro, click the name of the macro in the Macro name box, and then click Edit.
  1. Click OK.
  2. In the worksheet, select the hot spot. This displays the Drawing Tools, adding a Format tab.
  3. On the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click the arrow next to Shape Fill, and then click No Fill.

Shape Styles group on the Format tab of the Drawing Tools

  1. Click the arrow next to Shape Outline, and then click No Outline.

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Configure a macro to run automatically upon opening a workbook

If you record a macro and save it with the name "Auto_Open," the macro will run whenever you open the workbook that contains the macro. Another way to automatically run a macro when you open a workbook is to write a VBA procedure in the Open event of the workbook by using the Visual Basic Editor (Visual Basic Editor: An environment in which you write new and edit existing Visual Basic for Applications code and procedures. The Visual Basic Editor contains a complete debugging toolset for finding syntax, run-time, and logic problems in your code.). The Open event is a built-in workbook event that runs its macro code every time you open the workbook.

Create an Auto_Open macro

  1. If the Developer tab is not available, do the following to display it:
    1. Click the File tab, and then click Options.
    2. In the Customize Ribbon category, in the Main Tabs list, select the Developer check box, and then click OK.
  2. To set the security level temporarily to enable all macros, do the following:
  1. On the Developer tab, in the Code group, click Macro Security
    .Code group on the Developer tab
  2. In the Macro Settings category, under Macro Settings, click Enable all macros (not recommended, potentially dangerous code can run), and then click OK.

Note    To help prevent potentially dangerous code from running, we recommend that you return to any one of the settings that disable all macros after you finish working with macros.

  1. If you want to save the macro with a particular workbook, open that workbook first.
  2. On the Developer tab, in the Code group, click Record Macro.
  3. In the Macro name box, type Auto_Open.
  4. In the Store macro in list, select the workbook where you want to store the macro.

Tip    If you want a macro to be available whenever you use Excel, select Personal Macro Workbook. When you select Personal Macro Workbook, Excel creates a hidden personal macro workbook (Personal.xlsb), if it does not already exist, and saves the macro in this workbook. In Windows Vista, this workbook is saved in the C:\Users\user name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Excel\XLStart folder. If you can't find it there, it may have been saved in the Roaming subfolder instead of Local. In Microsoft Windows XP, this workbook is saved in the C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\XLStart folder. Workbooks in the XLStart folder are opened automatically whenever Excel starts. If you want a macro in the personal macro workbook to be run automatically in another workbook, you must also save that workbook in the XLStart folder so that both workbooks are opened when Excel starts.

  1. Click OK, and then perform the actions that you want to record.
  2. On the Developer tab, in the Code group, click Stop Recording Button image.

Tip    You can also click Stop Recording on the left side of the status bar.

The Stop Recording button on the status bar

Notes    

  • If you chose to save the macro in This Workbook or New Workbook in step 6, save or move the workbook into one of the XLStart folders.
  • Recording an Auto_Open macro has the following limitations:
    • If the workbook where you save the Auto_Open macro already contains a VBA procedure in its Open event, the VBA procedure for the Open event will override all actions in the Auto_Open macro.
    • An Auto_Open macro is ignored when a workbook is opened programmatically by using the Open method.
    • An Auto_Open macro runs before any other workbooks open. Therefore, if you record actions that you want Excel to perform on the default Book1 workbook or on a workbook that is loaded from the XLStart folder, the Auto_Open macro will fail when you restart Excel, because the macro runs before the default and startup workbooks open.

If you encounter these limitations, instead of recording an Auto_Open macro, you must create a VBA procedure for the Open event as described in the next section of this article.

  • If you want Excel to start without running an Auto_Open macro, hold down the SHIFT key when you start Excel.

Create a VBA procedure for the Open event of a workbook

The following example uses the Open event to run a macro when you open the workbook.

  1. If the Developer tab is not available, do the following to display it:
    1. Click the File tab, and then click Options.
    2. In the Customize Ribbon category, in the Main Tabs list, select the Developer check box, and then click OK.
  2. To set the security level temporarily to enable all macros, do the following:
  1. On the Developer tab, in the Code group, click Macro Security.
    Code group on the Developer tab
  2. In the Macro Settings category, under Macro Settings, click Enable all macros (not recommended, potentially dangerous code can run), and then click OK.

Note    To help prevent potentially dangerous code from running, we recommend that you return to any one of the settings that disable all macros after you finish working with macros.

  1. Save and close all open workbooks.
  2. Open the workbook where you want to add the macro, or create a new workbook.
  3. On the Developer tab, in the Code group, click Visual Basic.
  4. In the Project Explorer window, right-click the ThisWorkbook object, and then click View Code.

Tip    If the Project Explorer window is not visible, on the View menu, click Project Explorer.

  1. In the Object list above the Code window, select Workbook.

This automatically creates an empty procedure for the Open event, such as this:

Private Sub Workbook_Open()

End Sub

  1. Add the following lines of code to the procedure:

    Private Sub Workbook_Open()
    MsgBox Date
    Worksheets("Sheet1").Range("A1").Value = Date
    End Sub
  2. Switch to Excel and save the workbook as a macro-enabled workbook (.xlsm).
  3. Close and reopen the workbook. When you open the file again, Excel runs the Workbook_Open procedure, which displays today's date in a message box.
  4. Click OK in the message box.

Note that cell A1 on Sheet1 also contains the date as a result of running the Workbook_Open procedure.

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Applies to:
Excel 2010