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: Selecting a Range of Cells Relative to the Current Cell.

Selecting a Range of Cells Relative to the Current Cell

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 3, 2015)


Sometimes in a macro it is helpful to select cells relative to whichever cell is currently selected. For instance, let's say you want to select the first three cells of the current row. You can do that by using the following VBA code:

Range(Cells(Selection.Row, 1), Cells(Selection.Row, 3)).Select

The Cells property returns an object that represents a specific row and column (individual cell) of a worksheet. In this usage, Cells is used twice to determine a specific range of cells. The first instance returns the first cell of the current row, while the second returns the third cell of the current row. Thus, the range becomes the first through third cells of the current row.

Instead of using the Cells property to specify a location, you can use the Offset property to accomplish much of the same task. Consider the following code:

Range(ActiveCell.Offset(-3, 5), ActiveCell.Offset(0, 10)).Select

This uses the Offset property of the ActiveCell object to specify a range relative to the currently selected cell. The Offset property takes an argument that represents the row and column of the offset. A negative value represents up (for the row) and left (for the column). A positive value is down (for the row) and right (for the column). You can also use a value of 0, which represents the current row or column.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11402) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Selecting a Range of Cells Relative to the Current Cell.

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. ...


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What is five less than 8?

2016-12-15 11:11:50


In the meantime I succeeded to put together a solution. I suppose it's very clumsy, but it works perfectly :)

Range(ActiveCell, Cells.Find(What:="abc", After:=ActiveCell, LookIn:=xlValues, _
LookAt:=xlPart, SearchOrder:=xlByColumns, SearchDirection:=xlNext, _
MatchCase:=False, SearchFormat:=False)).Select
Selection.Delete Shift:=xlUp
ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Range("A1").Select

2016-12-12 16:37:55


Excel 2016. I have to select a range relatively to the current cell. From the current cell up to the first cell containing the string "abc" (by columns). Then delete selection and moving cells up.

I am not so skilled with VBA, so I will appreciate a lot some guidance.

Thank you very much

2016-09-14 07:52:14

Willy Vanhaelen

@ jens jensen

Range(Cells(1, 1), Cells(32, 8)).Select
Range(Range("A1"), Range("H32")).Select

Both will do the job.

2016-09-13 19:58:28

jens jensen

I was making a print button for a sheet and it should always select 8 columns and 32 rows from the top left cell and print only that area.

I can't make it work
I'm sure it's easy but then I see baltthamossa2b saying that if my macro needt to select cells I'm doing something wrong.

2015-10-05 04:47:00


As a general rule, if your macro needs to select cells it means you are doing something wrong. Or you took a macro straight from the macro recorder and didn't optimize it.

That being said, Range.Offset is my preferred way of navigating around.

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