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Excel/VBA Project Window mystery


Using Excel 2007 VBA
Perhaps you can shed some light on something that strikes me as odd. I have a rather lengthy macro that opens several other excel files, copies data from each, then closes each, as the code runs along.
While I'm running tests, looking at the Project-VBAProject pane in the VBA window, I can watch each file name as it opens and then goes away after the code closes it. Fine and dandy.
The majority appear then disappear as expected. However, there are a couple of file names that remain in the pane well after they have been closed. The code tells them to go away just like the others.
I don't know if this is problem or not, maybe you can explain it.

ANSWER: If you use a statement like
Set x = Something (in the workbook being opened) and you don't say Set x = Nothing then that can happen. Or, if the opened workbooks run code like that, that can happen.
Is that the case?

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: There's no code in the opened workbooks. However, there are Set Statements in each portion of the code that deals with the opened workbooks. But only 3 of the dozen or so files do not disappear from the project pane like the others do.
The code works correctly, but I was concerned that maybe they were still "somewhat open" and taking up memory somehow. Not sure if I even need to be concerned about this.
Is Best Practice to "UnSet" after each of sub routines? If so, how do I do it?

If you've done something like
Set x = activeworkbook
then at the end of that sub use
Set x = Nothing.
And yes, it's good practice.
And no, you don't really need to concern yourself with the "phantom" workbooks showing in the VBE -- unlikely to cause a problem. And they disappear when you exit Excel anyway, of course.
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Bob Umlas


I`m a Microsoft Excel MVP (Most Valuable Professional) and have been since the inception of the program in 1995. I can answer every kind of Excel question except: API, Importing/exporting to other programs (powerpoint, word,...) Also check out my in-person training link at


Worked with MS Excel since version 0.99 (on the Mac!). Was contributing editor to Excellence Magazine, having written >300 articles. John Walkenbach said of me "I finally met someone who knows as much about Excel as I do."

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BA in math, Hofstra University, 1965

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Led sessions for the Convergence 2004-2006 seminar on Excel tips & tricks

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