XL98: "Automation Error" When You View References Dialog Box

ID: Q176263

The information in this article applies to:


When you click References on the Tools menu in the Visual Basic Editor, you receive the following error message:

   Automation error

and the References dialog box does not appear.


This problem may occur when the following conditions are true:

The following steps demonstrate this problem:

1. Another user opens Workbook2, which contains a reference to


2. You open Workbook1, which contains a reference to the same copy of

3. In the Visual Basic Editor, you click References on the Tools menu.

You receive the "Automation error" error message, because the other user opened their workbook before you. If the other user clicks References on the Tools menu, the dialog box appears correctly.


If this problem occurs, you will not be able to view or change references for your workbook (Workbook1) until the other user closes their workbook (Workbook2). Once they have closed their workbook, you should be able to display the References dialog box and view or change references, if necessary.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products listed at the beginning of this article. We are researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.


You can create a reference in a workbook to another file, such as an add-in or another workbook, by performing the following steps:

1. On the Tools menu, point to Macro, and then click Visual Basic Editor.

2. In the Project window, activate the workbook in which you want to

   create the reference.

3. On the Tools menu, click References.

4. In the References dialog box, click the check box next to the file to

   which you want to create a reference. If the file is not listed, click
   Browse, and use the Add Reference dialog box to select and open the
   appropriate file.

5. Click OK.

Multiple workbooks can contain references to the same file. This allows you to store an add-in used by many users on a network server and then create references to the add-in from each workbook that makes use of the add-in. However, if you do this, you may receive the "Automation error" error message when you attempt to view or change references. Note that the error message does not indicate who opened their workbook first, so it may be difficult to prevent this problem from occurring.

Additional query words: XL98 vbe

Keywords          : kberrmsg kbusage
Version           : MACINTOSH:98
Platform          : MACINTOSH
Issue type        : kbbug

Last Reviewed: February 5, 1998