Excel VBA Workbooks.Open Method

This Excel VBA tutorial explains how to use Workbooks.Open Method to open another workbook.

Excel VBA Workbooks.Open Method

Workbooks.Open Method is useful when you try to open another Workbook using VBA. For example, you can open a workbook > format the spreadsheet > close the workbook automatically. There are a lot of rarely used arguments for Workbooks.Open Method. As most of them are self explanatory, I will demonstrate some common uses of the Method.

Syntax of Workbooks.Open Method

expression .Open(FileName, UpdateLinks, ReadOnly, Format, Password, WriteResPassword, IgnoreReadOnlyRecommended, Origin, Delimiter, Editable, Notify, Converter, AddToMru, Local, CorruptLoad)
Name Required/Optional Data Type Description
FileName Optional Variant String. The file name of the workbook to be opened.
UpdateLinks Optional Variant Specifies the way external references (links) in the file, such as the reference to a range in the Budget.xls workbook in the following formula =SUM([Budget.xls]Annual!C10:C25), are updated. If this argument is omitted, the user is prompted to specify how links will be updated. For more information about the values used by this parameter, see the Remarks section. If Microsoft Excel is opening a file in the WKS, WK1, or WK3 format and the UpdateLinks argument is 0, no charts are created; otherwise Microsoft Excel generates charts from the graphs attached to the file.
ReadOnly Optional Variant True to open the workbook in read-only mode.
Format Optional Variant If Microsoft Excel opens a text file, this argument specifies the delimiter character. If this argument is omitted, the current delimiter is used. For more information about the values used by this parameter, see the Remarks section.
Password Optional Variant A string that contains the password required to open a protected workbook. If this argument is omitted and the workbook requires a password, the user is prompted for the password.
WriteResPassword Optional Variant A string that contains the password required to write to a write-reserved workbook. If this argument is omitted and the workbook requires a password, the user will be prompted for the password.
IgnoreReadOnlyRecommended Optional Variant True to have Microsoft Excel not display the read-only recommended message (if the workbook was saved with the Read-Only Recommended option).
Origin Optional Variant If the file is a text file, this argument indicates where it originated, so that code pages and Carriage Return/Line Feed (CR/LF) can be mapped correctly. Can be one of the following XlPlatform constants: xlMacintosh, xlWindows, or xlMSDOS. If this argument is omitted, the current operating system is used.
Delimiter Optional Variant If the file is a text file and the Format argument is 6, this argument is a string that specifies the character to be used as the delimiter. For example, use Chr(9) for tabs, use “,” for commas, use “;” for semicolons, or use a custom character. Only the first character of the string is used.
Editable Optional Variant If the file is a Microsoft Excel 4.0 add-in, this argument is True to open the add-in so that it is a visible window. If this argument is False or omitted, the add-in is opened as hidden, and it cannot be unhidden. This option does not apply to add-ins created in Microsoft Excel 5.0 or later. If the file is an Excel template, True to open the specified template for editing. False to open a new workbook based on the specified template. The default value is False.
Notify Optional Variant If the file cannot be opened in read/write mode, this argument is True to add the file to the file notification list. Microsoft Excel will open the file as read-only, poll the file notification list, and then notify the user when the file becomes available. If this argument is False or omitted, no notification is requested, and any attempts to open an unavailable file will fail.
Converter Optional Variant The index of the first file converter to try when opening the file. The specified file converter is tried first; if this converter does not recognize the file, all other converters are tried. The converter index consists of the row numbers of the converters returned by the FileConverters property.
AddToMru Optional Variant True to add this workbook to the list of recently used files. The default value is False.
Local Optional Variant True saves files against the language of Microsoft Excel (including control panel settings). False (default) saves files against the language of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) (which is typically United States English unless the VBA project where Workbooks.Open is run from is an old internationalized XL5/95 VBA project).
CorruptLoad Optional XlCorruptLoad Can be one of the following constants: xlNormalLoad, xlRepairFile and xlExtractData. The default behavior if no value is specified is xlNormalLoad and does not attempt recovery when initiated through the OM.

Example 1 – Open a workbook

The below code opens workbook 1.xls and set the workbook as “wb” so that you can use wb to access other workbook Methods.

Public Sub openWB()
    Set wb = Workbooks.Open("C:\Users\WYMAN\Desktop\excelfolder\1.xls")
End Sub

Example 2 – Open a workbook with password

There are two kinds of password protection – password to open the workbook, and password to modify the workbook.

Excel VBA Workbooks.Open Method 01

In either case, if a workbook is password protected, opening the file will pop up a password box.

You can add the password argument to open the file with password automatically. If you open a non-password protected workbook but you add the password argument, you can still open the workbook.

Lets say you have a workbook 3.xlsx which is non-password protected, using the below code will still be able to open the workbook.

Public Sub openWBpw()
    Set wb = Workbooks.Open(Filename:="C:\Users\WYMAN\Desktop\excelfolder\3.xlsx", Password:="yourpassword")
End Sub

Example 3 – Open a workbook without alert

There are many kinds of alerts that may pop up when you open a workbook, preventing you from running the subsequent procedures. Turn off all alerts ensures you to run all the procedures successfully.

Public Sub openWB2()
    With Application
        .DisplayAlerts = False
        .ScreenUpdating = False
        .EnableEvents = False
        .AskToUpdateLinks = False
    End With
    Set wb = Workbooks.Open(Filename:="C:\Users\WYMAN\Desktop\excelfolder\3.xlsx", Password:="yourpassword")
    With Application
        .DisplayAlerts = True
        .ScreenUpdating = True
        .EnableEvents = True
        .AskToUpdateLinks = True
    End With
End Sub

Other examples

Add password to all Excel workbook in folder

Excel VBA refresh closed workbook

Use Excel Workbooks Open Method to check if workbook open

Outbound References

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/ff194819.aspx

Wyman W
Wyman is a Business Analyst based in Hong Kong, specialized in business analysis, project management, and also creating custom Function and Sub solutions, and is proficient in report automation with Access.

He is also a:
- Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (Excel)
- Microsoft Community Contributor
- Microsoft Office Specialist in Access / Excel
- Microsoft Specialist in MS Project
- Microsoft Technical Associate
- Microsoft Certified Professional
- IBM SPSS Specialist

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