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: Highlighting the Rows of Selected Cells.

Highlighting the Rows of Selected Cells

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 5, 2015)

6

Sometimes it is easy to lose track of where the selected cell is located in a worksheet. There are several ways you can locate the cell, but sometimes it would be handy to just have a way to highlight the whole row of the selected cell.

The easiest way to do this in Excel is to press Shift+Space Bar. The entire row is highlighted, and the selected cell remains the same. If you want to move to another cell in the same row (without changing the highlight), you can use Tab to move to the right and Shift+Tab to move to the left.

If you prefer to have Excel automatically highlight the row, you must rely upon a macro. The following one will do the trick:

Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Excel.Range)
    Static rr
    Static cc

    If cc <> "" Then
        With Columns(cc).Interior
            .ColorIndex = xlNone
        End With
        With Rows(rr).Interior
            .ColorIndex = xlNone
        End With
    End If

    rr = Selection.Row
    cc = Selection.Column

    With Columns(cc).Interior
        .ColorIndex = 20
        .Pattern = xlSolid
    End With
    With Rows(rr).Interior
        .ColorIndex = 20
        .Pattern = xlSolid
    End With
End Sub

Make sure you attach the macro to the worksheet you are using at the time. All the code does is highlight the row and column the active cell is at. When moving to another cell, the code remembers the previous cell (by using variables declared as Static) and removes the highlighting from the previous rows and columns. This code highlights both the current row and column. For just highlighting the row, remove the chunks of code with cc in them. The only real problem with this method is that if your sheet has any previous color-filled cells, these will be changed to NoFill, erasing any color that was there.

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 (10367) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Highlighting the Rows of Selected 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. ...

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What is 5 + 7?

2019-08-19 10:30:52

Willy Vanhaelen

In his comment of 7 June 2018 Samuel is right, as well this tip's macro as my version in the previous post make the undo stack non functional. It is possible though to accomplish the highlighting with conditional formatting instead of by using these macros. Here is how:
- Select the range for which you want to apply the formatting (e.g. the whole sheet).
- Click "Conditional Formatting" in the "Styles" section of the ribbon's "Home" tab.
- Select "New Rule" and then choose "Use a formula to determine which cells to format".
- In the box "Format values where this formula is true:" enter the following formula:
=CELL("row")=ROW() for highlighting only the entire row
=OR(CELL("row")=ROW(),CELL("col")=COLUMN()) for both row and column.
- Click the "Format" button and select the "Fill" tab.
- Select the color you want and click OK three times.

This conditional formatting does however require a recalc in order to function properly. This can be done by this event macro:

Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Range)
Target.Calculate
End Sub

The Target.Calculate statement doesn't affect the undo stack which remains functional.


2019-08-15 12:03:26

Willy Vanhaelen

Here is a simplified version of this tip's macro:

Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Excel.Range)
Static X As Long
Static Y As Long
If X <> 0 Then
Columns(X).Interior.ColorIndex = xlNone
Rows(Y).Interior.ColorIndex = xlNone
End If
X = Target.Column
Columns(X).Interior.ColorIndex = 20
Y = Target.Row
Rows(Y).Interior.ColorIndex = 20
End Sub

And if you only want the row to be highlighted (as I do), this little macro will do the job:

Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Excel.Range)
Static Y As Long
If Y <> 0 Then Rows(Y).Interior.ColorIndex = xlNone
Y = Target.Row
Rows(Y).Interior.ColorIndex = 20
End Sub


2018-06-07 05:43:54

samuel

Thanks great and simple tool. although i noticed that it doesn't allow undo (Ctrl+Z) and auto save. perhaps you could look into it


2018-01-03 00:40:24

Syed

Thank you great


2016-12-06 14:34:54

Mark Strohmeyer

I like that there is no conditional formatting associated with this code.

How can I modify the VBA to highlight the row to the left and the column up?

Is there a way to keep the VBA from overwriting any other non conditional color formatting I am using?

Thanks, Mark


2015-10-08 09:38:09

Louis LAFRUIT

Personnaly I increase the heigth of that row.


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