Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Making VLOOKUP Trigger a Macro.

Making VLOOKUP Trigger a Macro

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 17, 2019)

3

Mike uses VLOOKUP regularly in his worksheets, but wonders if there is a way to make the function run a macro if it fails to return a value.

There are a couple of ways you could approach this problem. First, you could use a conditional formula to determine whether VLOOKUP will return a value or an error. If it will return an error, then you can have the formula run a user-defined function (MyUDF), as shown here:

=IF(ISERROR(VLOOKUP(B2,CODES,1,FALSE)),MyUDF(),
VLOOKUP(B2,CODES,1,FALSE))

All you need to do is make sure that you put your actual VLOOKUP code in the formula (twice) and replace MyUDF with the name of the user-defined function you want to trigger.

Another approach is to set up an event handler for the Calculate event. This can be rather simple, as in the following:

Private Sub Worksheet_Calculate()
   If IsError(Range("A1")) Then Call Macro1
End Sub

This example assumes that the VLOOKUP formula is in cell A1 and that you want to run a macro called Macro1 if the VLOOKUP returns an error. Your macro could then do whatever you need it to do. Remember, as well, that the Calculate event handler should be placed in the ThisWorksheet object.

You could also make the Calculate event handler a bit more robust, as shown here:

Private Sub Worksheet_Calculate()
    On Error GoTo myMac
    Worksheets(1).Select
    If Range("A1").Value Then
        Exit Sub
    End If
myMac:
    Macro1   'macro to run if VLOOKUP fails
End Sub

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10107) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Making VLOOKUP Trigger a Macro.

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

Setting Default Print Margins

Don't like the print margins that Excel uses by default? You can change the default by changing the workbook on which ...

Discover More

Automatic Question Numbering

Want to use Word's numbering capabilities to help you number a series of questions? Here's how to accomplish the task as ...

Discover More

Selecting a Graphic Behind a Text Box

How to select a graphic that is obscured by a text box can be perplexing. Here's an overview of the different ways you ...

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)

Calculating Combinations

The COMBIN function is used to determine the number of combinations that can be made from a group of elements. This tip ...

Discover More

Converting to Octal

If you need to do some work in the base-8 numbering system (octal), you'll love two worksheet functions provided by Excel ...

Discover More

Phantom Counts

Two common worksheet functions used to count things are COUNT and COUNTA. Not understanding how these functions treat ...

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 8 + 0?

2015-06-15 10:40:18

Oscar

It would be interesting to see a specific example of a macro that needs to be triggered when vlookup fails.


2015-06-15 08:30:09

balthamossa2b

I strongly recommend not going down the Worksheet event route for this one. If you aren't very careful with your macro chances are you will fall into an infinite loop.

Also if you want to use a macro, might as well use one all the way. Instead of using VLOOKUP, use Range.Find directly.


2013-05-06 08:06:38

Bryan

If your macro returns a value, use:

=IFERROR(VLOOKUP(B2,CODES,1,FALSE)),MyUDF())


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.