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.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 21, 2016)
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, 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.
Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!
Macros often need to select different cells in a worksheet. Here's how you can use macro commands to change which cell is ...Discover More
Macros are very powerful, but you may not want them to always be available to a user. Here are some ways you can limit ...Discover More
If you need to limit the cells that are accessible by the user of a worksheet, VBA can come to the rescue. This doesn't ...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.