Using R1C1 Formula References in a Macro

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 17, 2018)

1

Gerry finds it easiest to put together formulas that use R1C1 cell references. She knows how to do this when manually adding formulas to a worksheet, but wonders how she can use R1C1 references in formulas that she puts together and stuffs into cells using a macro. She wonders if there is anything she needs to watch out for when doing this.

When you are normally stuffing a formula into a cell, you would use this type of syntax in your macro:

Cells(3,1).Formula = "=A1 + A2"
Range("A3").Formula = "=A1 + A2"

Either of these will work fine; they both stuff a simple formula into cell A3. If, however, you want to use R1C1 references in the formula you place into cell A3, you only need to change the Formula property to the FormulaR1C1 property:

Cells(3,1).FormulaR1C1 = "=R1C1 + R2C1"
Range("A3").FormulaR1C1 = "=R1C1 + R2C1"

It is interesting to note that if you place the above R1C1 formulas into a cell and the worksheet doesn't have R1C1 display turned on, then Excel converts the formula to reflect the display that is active. In other words, it automatically changes "=R1C1 + R2C1" to "=$A$1 + $A$2". The opposite is also true—place the formula "=A1 + A2" into a cell, and it displays as " =R[-2]C + R[-1]C" if you have R1C1 display turned on.

You should also note that since both Formula and FormulaR1C1 are properties, you can read them and see the formula in the cell in the desired format. For instance, let's say cell A3 contains the formula "=A1 + A2". If you then run the following macro, you'll see the formula displayed in the desired formats:

Sub TestFormula()
    Dim sMsg As String

    sMsg = "Regular format: " & Cells(3,1).Formula & vbCrLf
    sMsg = sMsg & "R1C1 format: " & Range("A3").FormulaR1C1
    MsgBox sMsg
End Sub

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (5294) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Using Correct Apostrophes

Word does a pretty good job of figuring out what apostrophes to use around your text. There may be times, however, when ...

Discover More

Making Draft View the Default View

Word normally uses Print Layout view to display your documents. You may want, instead, to always use Draft view. Here's ...

Discover More

Files Opening Slowly If Many Files Exist

Managing large numbers of documents in Word can lead to some interesting challenges. One potential challenge is that your ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Pulling Cell Names into VBA

Excel allows you to define names that can refer either to ranges of cells or to constant information, such as formulas. ...

Discover More

Storing a User's Location before Running a Macro

Macros are often used to process information in a workbook. If your macro makes changes in what is selected in the ...

Discover More

Copying Worksheets in a Macro

Copying worksheets (one or many) is easy to do manually. What is not well known is that it is even easy to make the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 + 9?

2018-02-18 19:45:08

walter costello

Alan, for what its worth - if you press the ctrl key and the tilde ~ keys excel displays the spreadsheet formulae cell references instead of numbers. To exit just repeat the key strokes!

Walt


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.