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: Forcing a Macro to Run when a Worksheet is Recalculated.

Forcing a Macro to Run when a Worksheet is Recalculated

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 21, 2016)

2

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:

Application.Volatile

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.

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 (10598) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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.

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

Converting Text to Comments

One of the strong suits of macros is that they can process the information in a document quickly and reliably. For ...

Discover More

Double-Clicking to Widen Columns Won't Work

One way you can widen the columns in a worksheet to fit whatever is in the column is by double-clicking the right edge of ...

Discover More

Copying a Spreadsheet

There are times when you don't want to mess up a spreadsheet, but you want to try out some changes. This is when making a ...

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)

Converting Numbers to Strings

When creating macros, it is often necessary to change from one type of data to another. Here's how you can change from a ...

Discover More

Digital Signatures for Macros

The security features built into Excel allow you to digitally sign your macros so that users can rest assured that they ...

Discover More

Resetting Default Names for New Worksheets

When you add a new worksheet to a workbook, Excel gives it a default name that consists of "Sheet" followed by a number. ...

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 five minus 4?

2016-12-23 10:06:06

Michel Bilodeau

The example given here uses Application.Volatile in a function. Does this work for a subroutine as well?


2016-09-07 03:43:05

Jacob Larsen

Note that this only works for future changes. If you add Application.Volatile to an existing macro with existing cells using it, then you must manually force recalculate by dummy-editing all the relevant cells.


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.