Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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 February 3, 2018)

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, 2013, and 2016. 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

Changing Page Margins

If your worksheet is destined to be printed, you'll need to be concerned with how it appears on the page. One layout ...

Discover More

Specifying a Language for Text

Need to format a paragraph (or some selected text) so that it is a language other than English? You can do so easily by ...

Discover More

Protecting Parts of a Document

Word doesn't require you to protect entire documents. Instead, you can protect different sections within a document, as ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Determining the Current Directory

When you use a macro to do file operations, it works (by default) within the current directory. If you want to know which ...

Discover More

Removing a Directory

Macros allow you to perform all sorts of file-related operations. One such operation allows you to delete a directory. ...

Discover More

Working with Colors in a Macro

The colors used in a Excel are not as simple as they used to be. Here are some ideas relative to working with those ...

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 seven more than 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.