VBA command to open PDF


New Member
Nov 14, 2019
Hi All,

my first post here :)

I am trying to create an interface to select and open PDF reports from Excel.

Currently I have got 4 drop down boxes where users can select which report they would like to see.

Currently the options are

drop down box 1 : Europe, America and Pacific
drop down box 2 : Red, Blue and Green
drop down box 3: months of year and
drop down box 4: years from 2015-19

once a users selects the above options, I would like to create a button based on the user choices to open a PDF report in a shared folder

for instance, if a user selects Europe, Red, and Jun 2019 the appropriate report will open

Many Thanks in advance


MrExcel MVP
Oct 15, 2007
Welcome to MrExcel forums.

You haven't said exactly how the PDF file name should be constructed from the 4 drop down values, but see if this macro works for you. The 4 drop downs are Form Control Combo Boxes placed on a worksheet and with their default names: "Drop Down 1", "Drop Down 2", etc. Edit the code to change the PDFsfolder string, which is the folder containing the PDF files. Assign the following macro to the command button on the worksheet:

Option Explicit

[URL=https://www.mrexcel.com/forum/usertag.php?do=list&action=hash&hash=If]#If[/URL]  VBA7 Then
    Private Declare PtrSafe Function FindExecutable Lib "shell32.dll" Alias "FindExecutableA" _
       (ByVal lpFile As String, ByVal lpDirectory As String, ByVal lpResult As String) As Long
    Private Declare Function FindExecutable Lib "shell32.dll" Alias "FindExecutableA" _
       (ByVal lpFile As String, ByVal lpDirectory As String, ByVal lpResult As String) As Long
[URL=https://www.mrexcel.com/forum/usertag.php?do=list&action=hash&hash=End]#End[/URL]  If

Public Sub Open_PDF()

    Dim DropDowns(1 To 4) As DropDown
    Dim PDFsfolder As String
    Dim PDFfileName As String
    Dim PDFexe As String
    PDFsfolder = "C:\path\to\PDFs"               'folder containing PDF files
    If Right(PDFsfolder, 1) <> "" Then PDFsfolder = PDFsfolder & ""
    Set DropDowns(1) = ActiveSheet.Shapes("Drop Down 1").OLEFormat.Object
    Set DropDowns(2) = ActiveSheet.Shapes("Drop Down 2").OLEFormat.Object
    Set DropDowns(3) = ActiveSheet.Shapes("Drop Down 3").OLEFormat.Object
    Set DropDowns(4) = ActiveSheet.Shapes("Drop Down 4").OLEFormat.Object
    If DropDowns(1).ListIndex + DropDowns(2).ListIndex + DropDowns(3).ListIndex + DropDowns(4).ListIndex >= 4 Then

        PDFfileName = Range(DropDowns(1).ListFillRange).Item(DropDowns(1).ListIndex).Value & " " & _
                      Range(DropDowns(2).ListFillRange).Item(DropDowns(2).ListIndex).Value & " " & _
                      Range(DropDowns(3).ListFillRange).Item(DropDowns(3).ListIndex).Value & " " & _
                      Range(DropDowns(4).ListFillRange).Item(DropDowns(4).ListIndex).Value & ".pdf"
        If Dir(PDFsfolder & PDFfileName) <> vbNullString Then
            PDFexe = Get_ExePath(PDFsfolder & PDFfileName)
            Shell PDFexe & " " & Chr(34) & PDFsfolder & PDFfileName & Chr(34), vbNormalFocus
            MsgBox PDFsfolder & PDFfileName & " not found", vbExclamation
        End If
    End If
End Sub

Private Function Get_ExePath(lpFile As String) As String
    Dim lpDirectory As String, sExePath As String, rc As Long
    lpDirectory = ""
    sExePath = Space(255)
    rc = FindExecutable(lpFile, lpDirectory, sExePath)
    Get_ExePath = Left$(sExePath, InStr(sExePath, Chr$(0)) - 1)
End Function

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