Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. 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: Forcing a Macro to Run when a Worksheet is Recalculated.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 8, 2019)
When you write a macro, it is designed to be run whenever you choose to run it. What if you need to develop a macro that will run whenever something changes in your worksheet? What if you want the macro to run automatically? This is particularly necessary if you are creating a custom function that you want to use within the cells of the worksheet.
This is where the Volatile method comes in handy. All you need to do is include the following statement within your macro:
This informs Excel that the results of the macro are dependent on the values in the worksheet, and that it should be executed whenever the worksheet is recalculated. For instance, consider the following user-defined function:
Function CountCells(MyRange As Range) Dim iCount As Integer iCount = 0 For Each cell In MyRange If cell.HasFormula Then iCount = iCount + 1 End If Next cell CountCells = iCount End Function
This function, if used in a cell, counts the number of cells that contain formulas within a specified range. However, the function will only run the first time it is entered into a cell, or whenever the cell containing the formula is edited. If you want the function to recalculate every time the worksheet is recalculated, you would add the Volatile method near the beginning of the function:
Function CountCells(MyRange As Range) Dim iCount As Integer Application.Volatile iCount = 0 For Each cell In MyRange If cell.HasFormula Then iCount = iCount + 1 End If Next cell CountCells = iCount End Function
The inclusion of the Application.Volatile method means that every time the worksheet is recalculated, this function (macro) is again run.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10598) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Forcing a Macro to Run when a Worksheet is Recalculated.
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!
When writing macros, you may want to position a message box at a specific location on the screen. This can't be done in ...Discover More
Sometimes it may be helpful for a macro to know exactly where it is being executed. This tip provides a way that you can ...Discover More
Place a cell reference in a macro, modify the structure of your worksheet, and you may soon find that the cell reference ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.