Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 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: Selecting a Range of Cells Relative to the Current Cell.

Selecting a Range of Cells Relative to the Current Cell

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 23, 2021)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


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.

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 (11402) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. 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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