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)

4

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Determining a Worksheet's Number

When you add a new worksheet to a workbook, it receives a meaningful name such as "Sheet4" or "Sheet17." If you want to ...

Discover More

Creating an E-mail Message from the Current Document

In some earlier versions of Word you could type an e-mail in your document and then have Word e-mail it, as a message, to ...

Discover More

Underlining Text in Cells

Want a quick way to add some underlines to your cell values? It's easy using the shortcuts provided in this tip.

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Errors when Copying References to External Cells

If you copy a cell that contains a reference to external data, do you get an error? It could be due to the complexity of ...

Discover More

Splitting Sentences to Cells

If you have a lot of text in your workbook, at some point you might want to split out sentences into individual cells. ...

Discover More

Referencing the Last Cell in a Column

When developing formulas, you may need to reference the very last value in a particular column. This can seem perplexing, ...

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 one minus 1?

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.


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.