Show Specific Worksheets

Quickly find specific sheets, by selecting a sheet type from a drop down list. Other sheets hidden. Select "ALL" to see all sheets again.

Show Specific Sheets

Instead of scrolling through all the sheet tabs, in a workbook with lots of worksheets, use a drop down list to show specific sheets. All other sheets are hidden, except the Menu sheet, so you can quickly find what you need. Watch this video to see how it works, and the written instructions and sample file download link are below.

Video Timeline

0:00 Introduction

0:19 Select a Sheet Type

0:56 Set Up the List

1:55 Find a Command

2:17 View the VBA Code

3:29 View the Macro Code

4:59 Get the Sample File

Transcript: The full transcript for this video is at the bottom of the page.

Select a Sheet Type

On the Menu sheet, there is a data validation drop down list. Select a sheet type from the drop down list, and only the Menu sheet, and sheets with the selected text in their name are visible. For example, choose "computer" and all sheets with "computer" in their name are visible, along with the Menu sheet. All other sheets are hidden.

select a sheet type

If you choose ALL as the Sheet Type, all the sheets in the workbook are made visible.

show all sheets

Drop Down List

On another worksheet, there is a list of sheet types, formatted as a named Excel table. The data in that table was selected, and named as SheetTypes.

list of sheet types

On the Menu sheet, the drop down list is based on that named range, and the cell with the drop down is named SelectType

named cell for sheet type

You can add more items to the SheetTypes list, and the list will expand automatically to include them. Then, sort the list A-Z, after adding new items – there is a space character at the start of “ ALL”, so it will always sort to the top of the list.

add to list of sheet types

Menu Worksheet Code

On the Menu sheet, there is Worksheet_Change code, that runs when any change is made to the sheet. If the SelectType cell was changed, a macro runs. If “ ALL” was selected, a macro runs to show all the sheets. If a different type was selected, it runs a macro to show only the sheets with that text in their name. The Menu sheet is left visible too.

Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
  If Target.Address = Range("SelectType").Address Then
    Select Case Target.Value
      Case " All"
      Case ""
        'do nothing
      Case Else
        'do nothing
    End Select
  End If
End Sub

Show Sheets Macros

The following macros are stored in a regular code module.

The ShowAllSheets macro runs when "ALL" is selected, and makes all the sheets visible.

Sub ShowAllSheets()
Dim ws As Worksheet
For Each ws In ActiveWorkbook.Sheets
  ws.Visible = xlSheetVisible
Next ws
End Sub

The ShowSelSheets macro runs if any other option is selected, and it shows only the Menu sheet, and any sheet that has the selected text in its name.

Sub ShowSelSheets()
Dim ws As Worksheet
Dim strType As String
strType = Worksheets("Menu").Range("SelectType").Value
For Each ws In ActiveWorkbook.Sheets
  If InStr(1, ws.Name, strType) > 0 Then
    ws.Visible = xlSheetVisible
    If ws.Name <> "Menu" Then
      ws.Visible = xlSheetHidden
    End If
  End If
Next ws
End Sub

All-in-One Code

Instead of creating separate macros to show all the sheets, and to show the selected sheets, you could use the following WorksheetChange procedure, submitted by Leonid Koyfman.

It has the following differences from the original code:

  • Use "(All)" label instead of " All", to resemble "Select (All)" in the Excel filters
  • Use ThisWorkbook instead of ActiveWorkbook to safely step through the code while debugging
  • Bulletproof the call to InStr function by surrounding arguments with the spaces and adding vbTextCompare for the Compare option to make it case-insensitive (if applicable)
Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
Dim ws As Worksheet
Dim strType As String

If Target.Address = Range("SelectType").Address Then

  strType = Target.Value
  If strType = "" Then
      Exit Sub
  End If
  For Each ws In ThisWorkbook.Sheets
    If InStr(1, " " & ws.Name & " ", " " _
      & strType & " ", vbTextCompare) > 0 _
        Or strType = "(All)" Then
      ws.Visible = xlSheetVisible
      If ws.Name <> "Menu" Then
        ws.Visible = xlSheetHidden
      End If
    End If
  Next ws
End If
End Sub

Video Transcript

Here is the full transcript from the Show Specific Sheets video:


In this workbook, we have quite a few worksheets and I've set up a drop down list that we can use to hide everything except a specific kind of worksheet.

I'll show you how that works and then we can look at the code quickly in the background.

This is the menu sheet and there's a cell here that has a drop down list. If I click that, I can see, Computer, P&L and ALL.

I'll click on Computer and now we just have the menu sheet showing and the two sheets that had computer in their names.

I'll do the same for P&L, so there are the two sheets that are P&L and now I'll go back to looking at all the sheets and all the sheets, the admin sheets and instructions and everything is visible now.

To set this up, we have a data validation drop down list here, if I go to the data tab, data validation, we can see that there's a list and it's based on sheet types.

So I'll close that and that sheet types is on this admin list, I've just entered three items here, I typed all and I left a space character at the beginning of that, just so if I sort this list, that item will always go up to the top, so it's easy to find.

Then once the list was entered on this sheet, I created a table from that, so on the home tab, you can format as a table and select one of these styles for it and that means that now if I put another item at the bottom of this list, the list will expand automatically, we can see that the list is now grown and I can sort this.

And now if I go back to the menu, we've got admin and that just shows any sheet that has admin in its name.

So it's a quick way to work with your sheets if you want to either see a whole lot of them or just a small selection of your sheets so you can focus on those.

The sheets that are visible, change because a macro runs, if we make a change in this cell and to see that code, I'm going to right click on the menu tab, view code, and here is the worksheet change event.

So it's going to look at the target and that's the changed cell.

If the address of that cell is the same as the select type address and if we look at this cell, and look up in the name box here, that cell is named selecttype.

If we've changed that cell, then we're going to see what the value of the target cell is.

If we select it all, you can see this space there, it's going to run a macro called, showallsheets.

If we just clear out that cell, then nothing's going to happen, we can't show sheets if we don't have the text that's in the name of those sheets.

And, if they didn't select all or the cell isn't empty, then it's case else, so for every other situation, we're going to run a macro called, ShowSelSheets.

To see those macros, I'm going to right click here, definition, and that takes us here into module 1 and we can see the ShowAllSheets and there's a variable, ws, which is a worksheet.

So for each worksheet in the active workbook sheets, that worksheet, visible property is visible.

So every sheet becomes visible and for the other macro, ShowSelSheets, we again have a variable for the worksheet and one for the string, the str type, so whatever type we've selected here on the menu sheet in that select type range, so whatever that value is, that's what we're going to be looking for.

For each worksheet, in the ActiveWorkbook sheets, if we can find that name, so the strType in the worksheet name and we're using the InStr, the in string function for that, so if it does find that string in the name, then the sheet is visible, otherwise, unless the sheet is named, menu, we want to leave that visible, then that sheet will be hidden.

Those are the two different macros that will run based on making a change here.

Download the Sample File

To test the macros, you can download the sample file with the code to show specific sheets in Excel.

The workbook is in xlsm format, and contains macros

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Last updated: July 22, 2017 8:33 AM