Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Displaying the Selected Cell's Address.

Displaying the Selected Cell's Address

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 14, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


1

Excel allows you to easily see the location of the currently selected cell by examining the contents of the Name Box, to the left of the Formula Bar. This is fine and good, but there are times when you would like to have the address of a cell actually in a cell. For instance, you may want cell A1 to contain the address of the currently selected cell. This means that if cell E4 were selected, then A1 would contain its address, or $E$4. If you then pressed the right-arrow key, then the contents of A1 would change to $F$4.

You can grab the address of the currently selected cell by using the CELL worksheet function, in this manner:

=CELL("Address")

You should note that this function doesn't result in the contents of the cell changing every time you move to a different cell. Instead, the function is updated only when the workbook is recalculated, either by changing something in the worksheet or by pressing F9.

If, instead, you need to have "real time" reporting of the selected cell, you'll need to resort to using a macro. Follow these steps:

  1. Display the VBA Editor by pressing Alt+F11.
  2. In the Project window, at the left side of the Editor, double-click on the name of the worksheet you are using. (You may need to first open the VBAProject folder, and then open the Microsoft Excel Objects folder under it.)
  3. In the code window for the worksheet, click on the Object drop-down list and choose Worksheet. When you do, the Procedure should change to SelectionChange, and the framework for the event handler should appear in the code window.
  4. Change the event handler so it appears as follows:
  5. Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Excel.Range)
        Range("A1").Value = ActiveCell.Address
    End Sub
    
  6. Close the VBA Editor.

Now, as you move about this single worksheet, the contents of A1 should be constantly updated to reflect your location.

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 (12400) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Displaying the Selected Cell's Address.

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 two more than 7?

2023-01-14 10:55:49

J. Woolley

When this Tip refers to the "selected" cell it means the "active" cell. A Selection can have more than one cell, but only one of those cells is Active. When using the mouse, the Active cell is usually the first cell selected in the last selected contiguous range of cells. You can identify the Active cell by borders and shading. It is interesting to use this Tip's formula or macro to review the difference between "selected" and "active" cells.


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