I think I've somewhat isolated the problem. The Workbook_Open event does not appear to work because there is always a userform loaded, therefore any event based procedure is nullified by the routine already running. However, I've gotten closer to a desired result using Workbook_Deactivate routine which is weird since that is in itself event based. The Workbook_Deactivate is the only thing that seems to work while the userform is running. If you have any insight into how to address a couple of the issues caused by this process, I'm all ears.
1. if a blank workbook is opened as a test (Book1.xlsm), the message is thrown when Book1 becomes the Active workbook, but Book1 does not close (error trap allows it to step through)
2. when closing the revised workbook, the message is thrown, then the workbook closes
On a positive note, if the revised workbook is open and the original is opened, the message is thrown and the original workbook closes, so getting closer!
changing <> to Like fixes both issues above, however when the message is thrown if the original workbook is opened, the original workbook does not close. Help please. so close!