Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Stepping Through a Non-Contiguous Range of Cells.

Stepping Through a Non-Contiguous Range of Cells

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 11, 2016)

1

Stephe needs to develop a macro that will perform an operation based on the cells that a user selects before running the macro. She knows how to do this if the user selects a range of cells, but she doesn't know how to step through the cells in a selection if the user selects a non-contiguous range of cells.

When it comes to VBA, there is very little difference between a contiguous selection and a non-contiguous selection. Excel lets you access each of them the same. Consider the following code snippet:

Dim c As Range

For Each c In Selection
    ' do something here
    MsgBox c.Address & vbTab & c.Value
Next c

In this case the cells in the selected range are stepped through, one at a time, using the For ... Next loop. Inside the loop the c variable represents an individual cell and can be used in references, as shown.

If, for some reason, you want to access each contiguous area within the selection, you can do so by specifically addressing the Areas group, as shown in this snippet:

Dim a As Range
Dim c As Range

For Each a In Selection.Areas
    'Now each a refers to a contiguous range
    'Do something here with areas, if desired
    For Each c In a.Cells
        'Now each c refers to a cell in the area
        'Do something here
        MsgBox c.Address & vbTab & c.Value
    Next c
Next a

You should also note that if the range you want to access (contiguous or non-contiguous) has been named in Excel, you can also access just the cells in the named range. Simply replace the word "Selection" in each of these examples with name of the range, in this manner:

Dim c As Range

For Each c In Range("MyNamedRange")
    ' do something here
    MsgBox c.Address & vbTab & c.Value
Next c

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8703) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Stepping Through a Non-Contiguous Range of Cells.

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

Starting a New Section on an Odd Page Number

A common pagination convention used in publishing is for new chapters (and sometimes new sections) to start on an ...

Discover More

Putting a Bullet in the Middle of a Sentence

Need a special character (such as a bullet) in the middle of your text? Here are two quick ways to enter the character you ...

Discover More

Finding Positions of Formatted Characters in a Cell

With a little bit of work, Excel allows you to format individual characters of the text you place in a cell. If you want to ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Deleting Every X Rows

Grab some info from a source other than Excel, and you may find the need to delete a certain pattern of rows from a ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Alphabetic Characters

When you need to get rid of characters in the middle of a cell value, the best way to do it is through the use of macros. ...

Discover More

Forcing Manual Calculation For a Workbook

If you have a large, complex workbook, you may want to make sure that it is always calculated manually instead of ...

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 four less than 9?

2014-11-06 12:11:55

Phil Reinie

This tip along with the one about processing hidden cells I'll use as reference for my macro which concatenates values in multiple selections into one cell.
It gets real tricky because I have to check that the values don't overflow the destination cell for the version of Excel used (max 32,767 in Excel 2007), ask if hidden cells are or aren't copied, determine a delimiter, if blank bypass the copy, etc.


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.