Calculating the Distance between the Top of the Window and Row 1

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 7, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


When he creates a UserForm, Louis sets the Top property of the UserForm to 222, which he determined by trial and error is the pixel distance between the upper border of the active window and the top of the first row of data in the worksheet. He wonders if there is a way to calculate this distance programmatically, given that the distance can vary depending on how much of the ribbon is displayed and the height of the Formula bar.

If you need to get the height of the ribbon area, you can examine the Height property of the CommandBars("Ribbon") object, in this manner:

iHt = CommandBars("Ribbon").Height

That, of course, will give you only part of the information you ultimately need. The positioning information for a UserForm is based on the upper-left corner of the program window. Thus, you need to take into account the border thickness of the window (if there is a border), the ribbon height (mentioned above, but only if running on a version of Excel that uses the ribbon), the height of the Formula bar, any space allowed for the ruler, and so forth.

Most of these things don't have Height properties you can check, so positioning a UserForm can be a process of trial and error in order. Once you get the UserForm positioned correctly on your system, there is no guarantee it will be positioned correctly if displayed on someone else's system.

The best solution we've found is to (in this case) not reinvent the wheel. Chip Pearson, on his website, has created what he calls a "form positioner" that takes the guesswork out of positioning a UserForm. You can find information on it here:

There is no charge; it is free. It allows you to position a UserForm relative to any cell on the screen. If you develop macros that rely on UserForms, you'll want to check out what Chip has to offer.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2309) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is seven more than 9?

2024-01-18 10:07:28

J. Woolley

@Malcolm Sokol
Please review my comment immediately below yours.

2024-01-17 22:10:31

Malcolm Sokol

I downloaded Chip Pearson' userform positioner and have a few observations. It is highly dependent on the mode of the Excel Window. The behavior of the positioning is different when the window is Full vs. normal mode. In the latter instance, if I position a window and resize it even to a very small part of the desktop on which it is open, the form position varies all over the place even though his for displays the same values for the positions he uses. Not sure this will allow an absolute certainty of position. In a recent application I just had to offset the command bar width to the cell top position to get the location as you noted and go with that.

2023-01-09 10:55:57

J. Woolley

My Excel Toolbox includes the following function to determine the screen coordinates of the top-left corner of the first cell in a range:
Public Function Range_ScreenXY(rTarget As Range, _
    Optional sUnits As String = "pixels") As Long()
This function returns a base-0 Long array XY() with 3 elements:
XY(0) = rTarget's original ActiveWindow.Zoom before adjustment (see below)
XY(1) = screen X-coordinate for rTarget.Left
XY(2) = screen Y-coordinate for rTarget.Top
Optional sUnits specifies the units of returned screen coordinates; only the first two characters apply and alphabetic case is ignored. The following sUnits are recognized: "pixels" (default) or "pi" or "px", "points" or "po" or "pt", "twips" or "tw". Pixels are screen pixels, not Windows' pixels, which might differ; see the DisplayScreenMetrics macro.
If necessary, ActiveWindow.Zoom will be adjusted to the nearest multiple of 5 (like 75, 80, 85...); otherwise, results are close but randomly unreliable. Results are best if Zoom > 65. If necessary, ActiveWindow will be scrolled southeast (SE) to make room for a dialog box at X-Y. This function accommodates Split with or without FreezePanes (unlike Pearson's, which might not handle Zoom either).
Note: UserForm position is based on the top-left corner of the screen (not the program window) in points (not pixels).
Note: Microsoft documentation is incorrect for PointsToScreenPixelsX/Y methods, which are reliable only when their argument is zero; see
Here is an example macro that uses Range_ScreenXY to position a UserForm:

Sub PositionUF()
    Dim UF As UserForm1, rSele As Range, sAddr As String
    Dim XY() As Long, nZoom As Long
    Const Msg = "Using the mouse, select a cell to position the UserForm." _
        & vbNewLine & "Click OK to continue or Cancel to quit."
    Const Title = "PositionUF"
    Const AdjustX = 6 'determine empirically for your configuration
    If TypeName(ActiveSheet) <> "Worksheet" Then Exit Sub
    nZoom = ActiveWindow.Zoom
    Set UF = New UserForm1
    UF.StartupPosition = 0
    Set rSele = Selection
    Do While True
        sAddr = rSele.Cells(1).Address
        Set rSele = Nothing
        On Error Resume Next
            Set rSele = Application.InputBox(Msg, Title, sAddr, Type:=8)
        On Error GoTo 0
        If rSele Is Nothing Then Exit Do 'user clicked Cancel
        XY = Range_ScreenXY(rSele, "points")
        UF.Left = XY(1) - AdjustX
        UF.Top = XY(2)
        UF.Show vbModeless
    Unload UF
    Set UF = Nothing
    ActiveWindow.Zoom = nZoom
End Sub


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