Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Exiting a For ... Next Loop Early.

Exiting a For ... Next Loop Early

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 20, 2019)

3

If you use For ... Next loops in your macro programming (who doesn't?), then you should know that they can take a great deal of time. You can minimize this by only checking what you need. For instance, consider the following code, which checks an array to see if a value exists. If it doesn't, then it adds the value to the end of the array. If it does, then the value is not added.

AddIt = False
For J = 1 to NumEntries
    If NumValues(J) = ToAdd Then AddIt = True
Next J
If AddIt Then
    NumEntries = NumEntries + 1
    NumValues(NumEntries) = ToAdd
End If

This works great, but if the array gets large, you can end up going through the For ... Next loop quite a few times. Now consider the following code, which accomplishes the same task, but dumps out of the For ... Next loop early if a match is detected.

AddIt = False
For J = 1 to NumEntries
    If NumValues(J) = ToAdd Then
        AddIt = True
        Exit For
    End If
Next J
If AddIt Then
    NumEntries = NumEntries + 1
    NumValues(NumEntries) = ToAdd
End If

Now if a match is found early on in the loop, all the rest of the iterations are skipped because the Exit For statement is encountered and the loop is basically exited right away. The result is a faster running macro.

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 (11335) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Exiting a For ... Next Loop Early.

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

Counting Cells According to Case

Text placed in cells can either be lowercase, uppercase, or a mixture of the two. If you want to count the cells based ...

Discover More

Using the Style Area

The style area is an esoteric feature of Word that allows you to easily see the styles applied to the paragraphs in your ...

Discover More

Aligning Paragraphs in a Macro

Using a macro to format your document (or portions of your document) is not all that uncommon. If you want your macro to ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Understanding Subroutines

When developing macros, you can create subroutines. This is a great way to reuse common code and make your programming ...

Discover More

Aborting a Macro and Retaining Control

If you need to exit a macro before it is finished running, you can do it using a brute force method, or you can build in ...

Discover More

Making Modal Dialog Boxes Appear in Front of Workbooks

Perhaps the most common way of communicating with programs is through the use of dialog boxes. We expect dialog boxes to ...

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 9 + 6?

2019-05-21 13:24:56

JMJ

Yes, Doug is right: the test is reversed!


2014-12-01 07:21:49

Doug

Just a note to say that the Addit conditions are reversed in the code. It should be initialized to TRUE and set to FALSE if the value is detected in the loop.


2014-12-01 07:12:18

balthamossa2b

While it's not a good programming practice, I prefer going in and out of loops by using GoTo.

It's useful when you have a "loop of loops", or:

For i = 1 to n
For j = 1 to m
[stuff]
If (whatever) Then GoTo skiploop
Next j

For j = 1 to o
[otherstuff]
If (whatever) Then GoTo skiploop
Next j
skiploop:
Next i



The proper way to do this would be with embedded Ifs or with Booleans used as checks (as in this tip's example), but it's usually too bothersome.

And for big loops it can add too many extra operations that have an effect in the execution time (I'm thinking bruteforcing Project Euler-like stuff; in small loops of, say, <10k iterations you won't see the effect).

Yay for laziness.



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.