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)

2

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.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

AutoFilling with Weekdays

Need to fill a range of cells with the days of the week? Excel makes it easy to do so using AutoFill.

Discover More

Shading Table Rows

Need to format the rows of a table so that your data is showcased better? Here are a few ways you can get the shading you ...

Discover More

Changing the Size of a Graphic

Adding a graphic to a worksheet is easy. Getting that graphic to just the right size may take a little bit of trial and ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Removing Spaces

Need to get rid of spaces in a range of cells? There are two ways you can approach the task, as described here.

Discover More

Accepting Only a Single Digit

Want a quick way to enter a series of single digits into consecutive cells? The best approach is with a macro, and this tip ...

Discover More

Can't Copy Data between Workbooks

Edit a group of workbooks at the same time and you probably will find yourself trying to copy information from one of 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 4 + 2?

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.


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.