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: Accepting Only a Single Digit.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 31, 2016)
Rich wonders how he can configure Excel so that when he enters a single digit it will automatically advance to the next cell. He wants to eliminate hitting Enter or Tab to get to the next cell. The value of the entry for a range of cells will always be a single positive digit.
This cannot be done with any native configuration setting in Excel. Instead, you will need to create a macro that will handle the entry for you. A natural choice for the macro is to use the Change event for the worksheet, so that any time a value is entered into a cell, the entry is "pulled apart" and stuffed in cells in the row.
Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range) If IsNumeric(Target.Value) Then CRow = Target.Row CColumn = Target.Column - 1 Entry = Target.Value For i = 1 To Len(Entry) Cells(CRow, CColumn + i).Value = Mid(Entry, i, 1) Next End If End Sub
This macro checks, first, to see if what was entered is numeric. If it is, then the digits are extracted from the value and placed in consecutive cells in the row.
The drawback to such a macro, of course, is that you still need to press Enter to trigger the event. If you want to get away from pressing Enter entirely, then you will need to rely upon a different approach. This technique relies upon the OnKey function to assign macros to specific keystrokes. Place the following code into a standard macro module.
Sub Assigns() Dim i As Variant With Application For i = 0 To 9 .OnKey i, "dig" & i Next End With End Sub
Sub ClearAssigns() Dim i As Variant With Application For i = 0 To 9 .OnKey i Next End With End Sub
Sub dig0() ActiveCell.Value = 0 ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select End Sub
Sub dig1() ActiveCell.Value = 1 ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select End Sub
Sub dig2() ActiveCell.Value = 2 ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select End Sub
Sub dig3() ActiveCell.Value = 3 ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select End Sub
Sub dig4() ActiveCell.Value = 4 ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select End Sub
Sub dig5() ActiveCell.Value = 5 ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select End Sub
Sub dig6() ActiveCell.Value = 6 ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select End Sub
Sub dig7() ActiveCell.Value = 7 ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select End Sub
Sub dig8() ActiveCell.Value = 8 ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select End Sub
Sub dig9() ActiveCell.Value = 9 ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select End Sub
To start the macro, run the Assigns macro. Thereafter, every time a digit is typed the digit is stuffed into the current cell and the next cell to the right selected. If you type in text, then nothing happens. (Of course, if you try to enter a mixed value, such as B2B, then when you press "2" that is what will end up in the cell.) When you are done with this type of data entry, run the ClearAssigns macro to finish up.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12276) 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: Accepting Only a Single Digit.
Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!
Do you need to use symbols frequently in your Excel data? The common way to insert them is by using the Symbol dialog ...Discover More
When you undo actions within Excel, those steps you undo may affect the multiple workbooks in which you've been working. ...Discover More
Want to use the maximum space possible for displaying information on screen? You'll want to learn how to use the ...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.