Today, I got an e-mail from management with the request (or order, you know how management can be) to perform an unglamorous task. “Here’s an excel file. We need you to turn every sheet into a new file.” Boring! The Excel File wasn’t that big, but one of the things I was thought at school was to be “functionally lazy”. In other words, do as little as possible to reach the result you want.
So, I searched for a way to automate this task and, of course, I was succesfull. I’m not being vain; but I wouldn’t dedicate a post to it if I hadn’t!
To convert the individual sheets of an excel file into new files, with minimum effort, you can use a VBA code. I take no credit for it, the code was written by Ron De Bruin , a Microsoft MVP and Excel specialist.
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Open the Excel file you want to work with.
2. Click the Developer tab, or use the Excel 2003 alternative.
3. Click ‘Visual Basic’.
4. In the new window, right-click the project title – the one in bold –, choose ‘Insert’ and ‘Module’.
5. In the window that opens, post the following code
‘Working in 97-2007
Dim FileExtStr As String
Dim FileFormatNum As Long
Dim Sourcewb As Workbook
Dim Destwb As Workbook
Dim sh As Worksheet
Dim DateString As String
Dim FolderName As String
.ScreenUpdating = False
.EnableEvents = False
.Calculation = xlCalculationManual
‘Copy every sheet from the workbook with this macro
Set Sourcewb = ThisWorkbook
‘Create new folder to save the new files in
DateString = Format(Now, "yyyy-mm-dd hh-mm-ss")
FolderName = Sourcewb.Path & "\" & Sourcewb.Name & " " & DateString
‘Copy every visible sheet to a new workbook
For Each sh In Sourcewb.Worksheets
‘If the sheet is visible then copy it to a new workbook
If sh.Visible = -1 Then
‘Set Destwb to the new workbook
Set Destwb = ActiveWorkbook
‘Determine the Excel version and file extension/format
If Val(Application.Version) < 12 Then
‘You use Excel 97-2003
FileExtStr = ".xls": FileFormatNum = -4143
‘You use Excel 2007
If Sourcewb.Name = .Name Then
MsgBox "Your answer is NO in the security dialog"
Select Case Sourcewb.FileFormat
Case 51: FileExtStr = ".xlsx": FileFormatNum = 51
If .HasVBProject Then
FileExtStr = ".xlsm": FileFormatNum = 52
FileExtStr = ".xlsx": FileFormatNum = 51
Case 56: FileExtStr = ".xls": FileFormatNum = 56
Case Else: FileExtStr = ".xlsb": FileFormatNum = 50
‘Change all cells in the worksheet to values if you want
If Destwb.Sheets(1).ProtectContents = False Then
Application.CutCopyMode = False
‘Save the new workbook and close it
.SaveAs FolderName _
& "\" & Destwb.Sheets(1).Name & FileExtStr, _
MsgBox "You can find the files in " & FolderName
.ScreenUpdating = True
.EnableEvents = True
.Calculation = xlCalculationAutomatic
6. Execute the code by clicking the green ‘play’ button.
7. The code will start to split up your file. You might see a few warnings when splitting up an xlsx file regarding the make-up but it won’t cause any real problems.
8. You’re done! You can find the files in a subdirectory of where the original file was located.