New and Improved Wrap Sheets Hotkey

Hey, remember back in 2010 when I had that bright idea about a repurposing Ctrl+PgUp and Ctrl+PgDn? Sure you do. The idea was that when I’m at the end of a workbook with a lot of worksheets, it would be easier to hit Ctrl+PgDn and wrap around to the first sheet rather than hold down Ctrl+PgUp until I got to the first sheet. I gave that shortcut the ol’ college try, but in the end I abandoned it. It turns out that I like holding down Ctrl+PgUp to get to the first page. But when I do that and this utility is active, it blows right by the first page and wraps around.

There’s this thing called Fitts’ Law and it indicates some things about infinity

Fitts’ law indicates that the most quickly accessed targets on any computer display are the four corners of the screen, because of their pinning action, and yet, for years, they seemed to be avoided at all costs by designers.

Fitts’ Law deals with pointing devices and targets, but the same principle applies to hotkeys. In Excel, if you hold down Ctrl+PgDn for infinity, you will end up on the last visible sheet of your workbook. That’s powerful because it removes all of your precision responsibility. I don’t care how imprecise you are, you can certainly hit an infinitely wide barn. Contrast that with the File menu in Excel 2010. Press Alt+F and then hold the down arrow for infinity. If the UI designers had been paying attention you would end up on “Exit” (the last item on the list), but you don’t. The cursor just keeps looping through the items on the list.

Even though I abandoned the hotkey, I can’t seem to get it out of my head that it’s a good idea. I’m stubborn like that. What if I could have the best of both worlds? What if I could race to the end of a workbook by holding down Ctrl+PgDn, but still wrap around to the first sheet when I wanted to? I changed the code to add a little delay. I started with 1 second, but determined that 1/2 second works better. Now, if the time between the last time I pressed Ctrl+PgDn and now is greater that 0.5 seconds, sheet activation will wrap around to the first sheet. If it’s less than 0.5 seconds, it’s assumed that I’m looking for infinity and remains on the last worksheet. And it all works the same for Ctrl+PgUp, just in reverse. I start with a module level variable and a module level constant.

Private msnLastWrap As Single
Private Const msnWRAPBUFFER As Single = 0.05

The Single msnLastWrap will keep track of the last time I pressed the hotkey. The rest of the code is the same from the prior post except that I added a couple of If statements to check the time differential and of course to set msnLastWrap.

In WrapSheetsDown when it gets to the last sheet (ActiveSheet.Index = LastVisibleSheetIndex) it checks to see how much time has elapsed (Timer – msnLastWrap). Timer is a VBA function that returns the number of seconds since midnight. Regardless of the results of that test, I assign Timer to my module level variable.

The rest of the code is unchanged, but for completeness, here’s what I have in my Auto_Open and Auto_Close procedures respectively.

And the rest of the procedures needed.

10 thoughts on “New and Improved Wrap Sheets Hotkey

  1. I don’t care how imprecise you are, you can certainly hit an infinitely wide barn.

    Not necessarily true: If I’m facing away from it, I hit an infinitely wide space. Granted, I would likely have been drinking, and really shouldn’t be handling firearms.

    I had assumed that the little triangles in the bottom left were for navigating through sheets i.e. the one that looks like this |< would take you to the first sheet and the one that looked like this >| would take you to the last. But then I clicked on it and it appeared to do nothing. So I fired up the macro recorder and clicked on it, and got this:

    …which Google tells me “scrolls through the workbook tabs to the last sheet in the workbook.”

    Not on my machine it doesn’t.

  2. Ah yes of course…was trying it in a workbook with just 3 sheets. I don’t need an infinitely wide barn, because I have an irresistible foot.

    I’ve managed to condense your code down to two routines. Note the different Application.OnKey notations in the code comments.

  3. @Jeff: Two small corrections: Better use 0.5 (the routine takes longer than 0.05 on my machine) – and swap the signs for the OnKeys.

    Private Const msnWRAPBUFFER As Single = 0.5

    ‘Trigger with these:
    ‘Application.OnKey “^{PGUP}”, “‘WrapSheets “”-1″”‘”
    ‘Application.OnKey “^{PGDN}”, “‘WrapSheets “”1″”‘”

    Don’t know how to quote as VB, sorry. Could anyone please enlighten me? Thanks!

  4. Could resist to play a bit of code golf here: :-)

    Here’s my version:
    Option Explicit

    Private mDblLastWrap As Double
    Private Const mcDblWrapBuffer As Single = 0.5

    'Trigger with these:
    'Application.OnKey "^{PGUP}", "'WrapSheets True'"
    'Application.OnKey "^{PGDN}", "'WrapSheets False'"

    Sub WrapSheets(blnBackwards As Boolean)

    subActivateNextSheet blnBackwards, (Timer - mDblLastWrap > mcDblWrapBuffer)

    mDblLastWrap = Timer

    End Sub

    Private Sub subActivateNextSheet(blnBackwards As Boolean, blnAllowWrap As Boolean, Optional intIndex As Integer)
    If intIndex = 0 Then intIndex = ActiveSheet.Index

    intIndex = intIndex + IIf(blnBackwards, -1, 1)

    If intIndex = 0 Or intIndex = ActiveWorkbook.Worksheets.Count + 1 Then _
    intIndex = IIf(blnAllowWrap, Abs(intIndex - ActiveWorkbook.Worksheets.Count), ActiveSheet.Index)

    If ActiveWorkbook.Sheets(intIndex).Visible Then
    subActivateNextSheet blnBackwards, blnAllowWrap, intIndex
    End If

    End Sub

  5. Dick,

    Can’t you add the [code lang=”vb”] anywhere near the reply ‘box’

    NB. the brackets in [code lang=”vb”] have to be replaced by respectively. Ih to use [ ] to prevent the interpreter to consideer it VB-code.

  6. Hi all. Code tags for this blog use angle brackets, rather than square ones. Have added these to Peter’s comment above.

    Dick, can you add some instructions somewhere on what tags commenters can use?

  7. I used to have instructions for posting code in comments, but they got lost. It is literally on my todo list and it’s about time I checked it off.

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