Excel VBA Manual Calculation on Workbook Open

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This article provides a comprehensive guide on implementing VBA manual calculation on workbook open, taking into account diverse user requirements and scenarios.

In the fast-paced world of professional data analysis, accuracy, and efficiency are paramount. When working with large and complex Excel workbooks, the automatic calculation can sometimes lead to delays and inaccuracies. That’s where VBA manual calculation on workbook open comes into play.

By leveraging this powerful feature, professionals have greater control over their data by optimizing performance. Practically, it enhances our Excel workflows and helps us to excel in data analysis.

Overview image of vba manual calculation on workbook open

User Benefits of VBA Manual Calculation in Excel

The use of VBA manual calculation in Excel offers several key benefits to users. First, it improves performance when working with large datasets or complex calculations, allowing for faster processing and smoother workflow.

Secondly, it offers selective and controlled calculation options, enabling users to choose when and which calculations they want to perform, saving time and resources. Additionally, It provides greater control over workbook management, as users can customize the calculation options to suit their specific needs.

In short, it enhances the speed and efficiency of workbook processing, resulting in improved performance and a more responsive Excel environment.

Excel VBA Manual Calculation on Workbook Open: 2 Use Cases

If you’re looking to take control of the calculation process in Excel, utilizing VBA code provides a powerful solution to meet your requirements. By utilizing this approach, you can switch the calculation mode from automatic to manual, allowing you to trigger manual calculation upon the workbook opening using VBA.

There are three common scenarios where utilizing VBA manual calculation on a workbook open proves beneficial.

Dataset for vba manual calculation on workbook open

Consider that in a retail store dataset, we have information on 5 products. The dataset includes the quantity purchased and the cost price for each product. We will determine the cost price/quantity by dividing the cost price by the quantity. The store aims to make a $5 profit on each quantity and sets the sale value by adding $5 to the cost price. We will calculate the benefit column then to determine the revenue generated from each quantity.

1. Single Active Workbook

To activate manual calculation on workbook open, you can follow these steps. Firstly, go to the developer tab in Excel. From there, select Visual Basic or use the keyboard shortcut Alt+F11 to open the Visual Basic window.

How to open visual basic in Excel

Once the window is open, go to the menu and choose Insert, then click on Module. This will open the module where you can insert the necessary code.

Module option in excel visual basic

Now we will use the following code to stop automatic calculation on workbook open.

Sub Open_WKB()
Application.Calculation = xlCalculationManual
Application.CalculateBeforeSave = True
End Sub

Code Breakdown:

Application.Calculation = xlCalculationManual sets calculation mode to manual.

Application.CalculateBeforeSave = True enables calculations before saving the workbook which is by default True

Vba code for manual calculation on workbook open

To execute the code choose Run from the standard menu or use the keyboard shortcut F5.

How to run code from visual basic

Once the code is executed, changes made to the data won’t trigger any calculations. For instance, modifying values in the quantity column will not affect other columns dependent on the quantity column.

Change data in the quantity column to test the vba code

Upon closing the window, exiting the workbook, or saving the file, the values automatically update. When reopening the dataset, you will see the updated values.

Updated values of the dataset after reopening

When you reopen the dataset, the calculation mode will remain manual mode, ensuring that any changes made to the dataset won’t trigger calculations. However, it is important to note that upon closing the dataset, the values will update by performing all the necessary calculations.

2. Specific Sheet of an Active Workbook

When you modify the calculation process for a specific workbook, it has an impact on all the sheets within that workbook. However, there may be instances where you need to activate manual calculation for a specific sheet, particularly when dealing with large and complex data that takes significant time to process. In such cases, you can follow the example outlined below.

Let’s consider an example where we have a dataset for revenue calculation for three months March, April, and May. Our goal is to enable manual calculation for the sheet corresponding to the month of May, while the calculation process for the other sheets remains inactive.

Datasets for specific sheets of an active workbook

This prevents unnecessary calculations and speeds up the performance of the workbook.

First, we need to open the Excel VBA module.

Then we will apply the following code.

Sub DisableManualCalculation()
'Produced by ExcelDemy
Dim ws As Worksheet
Dim rng As Range
Dim cell As Range
Dim flagCell As String
flagCell = "$B$12"
With Application
.Iteration = True 'Enable iterative calculation
.MaxIterations = 1 'Set maximum iterations to 1
End With
Dim Arr() As Variant
Index = 0
For Each ws In ThisWorkbook.Worksheets
' Loop through all cells with formulas
For Each cell In ws.UsedRange
If cell.HasFormula Then
' Update the formula to the new structure
Index = Index + 1
ReDim Preserve Arr(1 To Index)
Arr(Index) = cell.Formula
End If
Next cell
Next ws
Count = 0
' Loop through all worksheets
For Each ws In ThisWorkbook.Worksheets
' Loop through all cells with formulas
For Each cell In ws.UsedRange
If cell.HasFormula Then
' Update the formula to the new structure
Count = Count + 1
cell.Formula = "=IF(" & flagCell & "=""Calculate"", " & Mid(Arr(Count), 2) & ", " & cell.Address(False, False) & ")"
End If
Next cell
'Update the worksheet with disbaled calculation
If ws.Range(flagCell) <> "Calculate" Then
ws.Range(flagCell) = "Calculate"
ws.Range(flagCell) = ""
End If
Next ws
End Sub

Vba code for specific sheet of an active workbook

Code Breakdown:

  • This code begins with a Sub statement that defines the name of the macro DisableManualCalculation.
  • Then, it declares and initializes variables for worksheets, ranges, and cells.
  • The variable flagCell is set to the cell reference $B$12 as a flag to indicate manual calculation.
  • The Application object properties are set to enable iterative calculation and limit the maximum iterations to 1.
  • We declared an array Arr() to store the formulas of cells with formulas.
  • The code loops through each worksheet and checks for cells with formulas.
  • If a cell contains a formula, the formula is updated using the value in “flagCell” and the corresponding formula from the “Arr()” array.
  • The worksheet’s flag cell ($B$12) is updated to “Calculate” if it is not already set to that value.
  • The code concludes by updating the worksheet to trigger the recalculation of formulas.

Now press F5 to run the code.

Missing flagcell value in manual calculation on workbook open

In the image above, you may notice that the calculations for all the sheets are missing or showing zero. This happens when the flagcell value “Calculate” is missing in cell B12 of each sheet.

Using vba to manually calculate on workbook open

When a sheet has the flagcell value in cell B12, it means the calculation process is active for that sheet. You can make changes, delete or manipulate your data as needed. Once you save the file or press Ctrl+S, the data will be automatically updated.

Dataset for the month of april shows no calculation as it is turned off

However, if you switch to other sheets, like the one for April, you won’t see any changes in the dataset. This is because there is no flagcell value specified for that particular sheet.


  • You can modify the flagcell value in the code, and it will be applied to all sheets to indicate whether you want manual calculation for a specific sheet or not.
  • Run the just code once to activate the changes.
  • Note that the code enables iterative calculation, which can affect other calculations. Disable it by going to File > Options > Formula and unchecking “Enable iterative calculation“.
  • Keep in mind that the code requires an iterative calculation to be enabled for it to work properly.

How to disable iterative calculation

VBA Manual Calculation for One Workbook in Case of Multiple Active Workbooks

To have manual calculation for a specific workbook while keeping others in the automatic calculation, you must manually switch the calculation mode whenever you switch between workbooks. Excel does not provide a built-in feature to automatically handle different calculation modes for different workbooks.

Therefore, in Excel, the calculation mode applies to all open workbooks, so you can’t have different calculation modes for different workbooks simultaneously.

In VBA, if you have Intellisense enabled, you’ll notice that the Workbook object doesn’t have a .Calculate method. This means you can’t calculate an entire workbook using VBA alone.

Instead, you have 2 options:

  1. Calculate all open workbooks (Manually or Automatically) or
  2. Calculate (Manually or Automatically) all the sheets within a specific workbook.

Excel doesn’t provide the capability to calculate a single entire workbook through VBA.

To change the calculation process for a specific workbook among multiple active workbooks in Excel, select the desired workbook, go to the Formula tab, and choose the calculation options from the calculation group.

How to select manual calculation mode from the formula tab

Thus, you can manually switch the calculation mode each time you switch between workbooks.

Excel VBA Force Calculation

In Excel, there are several situations where you may need to force recalculation to ensure accurate results. Firstly, if Excel is set to manual calculation mode, formulas won’t update automatically, leading to outdated values.

Secondly, changes to underlying data may not trigger an automatic recalculation, causing inaccuracies. Thirdly, volatile functions, such as NOW or RAND, may not recalculate unless there is a change in the worksheet.

Lastly, formula dependencies can result in calculations not updating automatically.

Consider a situation where you have modified the data in the quantity column of a worksheet, but the corresponding calculations in other columns are not updating automatically.

Vba force calculation dataset

To force recalculation in this scenario, you can utilize the following VBA code.

Sub RecalSheet()
EnableCalculation = False
EnableCalculation = True
End Sub

Code for excel vba force calculation

Code Breakdown:

The provided VBA code forces a recalculation of the active sheet in Excel by temporarily disabling and re-enabling the automatic calculation mode using the EnableCalculation property.

The Calculate function is then used to trigger the recalculation process.

After executing the provided code, you will notice that the changes made in the quantity column are reflected in the subsequent columns. The code forces a recalculation, ensuring that the updated values are accurately calculated and displayed.

Vba force calculation code implementation result

If you want to force recalculation in the whole workbook you can apply the following code.

Sub Force_Cal()
Dim WKB As Worksheet
For Each WKB In Worksheets
Next WKB
End Sub

Force recalculation in the whole workbook

Code Breakdown:

The code performs a recalculation for each worksheet in the workbook by using a loop to iterate through them and applying the Calculate method.

This forces the recalculation of all formulas and updates the displayed values.

Tips: Pressing the F9 key in Excel forces a recalculation, updating all formulas and displaying the updated values immediately.

How to Turn Off Manual Calculation in Excel

To turn off manual calculation in Excel, you have two options. The first option is to go to the Formula tab, select Calculation Options from the Calculation group, and choose either Automatic or uncheck Manual from the drop-down menu.

How to turn off manual calculation in excel

Alternatively, you can use VBA code to disable manual calculation.

Sub Turnoff_Manual()
Application.Calculation = xlCalculationAutomatic
Application.CalculateBeforeSave = True
End Sub

Vba code to turn off manual calculation in excel

By running this code, you can effectively disable manual calculation and enable automatic calculation in Excel.

Things to Remember

  • If multiple workbooks are active, a change in the calculation mode applies to all open workbooks.
  • Workbook object doesn’t have a .Calculate method.
  • In case of choosing a specific sheet of a workbook, Run the code only once.
  • Enabling iteration calculation sometimes cause a problem for other calculation.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the purpose of enabling manual calculation on workbook open?

Enabling manual calculation on workbook open provides users with enhanced control over calculation timing. This feature is particularly valuable when working with large datasets or complex formulas, as it contributes to improved workbook performance.

  • What happens if I forget to enable manual calculation on workbook open?

If you do not enable manual calculation on workbook open, Excel will default to automatic calculation mode. In this mode, calculations are performed automatically whenever there are changes in the data.

  • Can I use manual calculation for specific worksheets or ranges only?

The manual calculation mode in Excel applies to the entire workbook and affects all worksheets and ranges within it.

You can manually calculate the entire workbook using VBA by using the Application.Calculate method. However, you cannot set manual calculation mode for specific worksheets or ranges directly through VBA.

  • Is manual calculation recommended for all workbooks?

The manual calculation is not suitable for all workbooks. You can used in specific cases where you need more control over when calculations occur. Automatic calculation is generally sufficient for most workbooks, providing real-time updates as data changes.

  • Are there any specific considerations when using manual calculation in VBA?

When using manual calculation in VBA, ensure proper handling of dependencies, pay attention to calculation order, and consider efficiency and error handling for accurate results.

  • Can I switch back to automatic calculation mode after enabling manual calculation on workbook open?

Yes, you can switch back to automatic calculation mode at any time.

Download Practice Workbook

You can download the workbook, where we have provided a practice section on the right side of each worksheet. Try it yourself.


In conclusion, Excel VBA manual calculation on workbook open offers users the ability to control calculation timing, enhancing performance and efficiency for workbooks containing large datasets and complex formulas.

In certain cases, users may prefer to utilize manual calculations in Excel. One effective approach is to apply the manual calculation to a single active workbook. This allows users to have precise control over when they are in a meeting or business activities.

However, it is crucial to manage dependencies and consider the implications of workbook functionality. Overall, Excel VBA manual calculation provides a valuable solution for optimizing calculations in Excel workbooks.

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Ishrak Khan
Ishrak Khan

Ishrak Khan is a content developer and urban planner born in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is closely working with ExcelDemy to make life simple and easy. He loves Football, Nico Robin, Deserts, and Twix. If you like the post, give him a heart on Instagram.

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