Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 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: Changing Macro Cell References Based on Edits.

Changing Macro Cell References Based on Edits

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 30, 2019)

David wonders if there is any way for cell references in a macro to change when adding or deleting rows, similar to the way a formula responds to such changes?

When you reference a cell in a macro, such as using Range("B6"), then VBA treats that reference as absolute, meaning that it doesn't change. Even if you add or delete cells that affect where the info that was in B6 is now located, the macro reference will remain the same.

The way around this is to not use direct references to cells in your macros. Instead, rely on named ranges. In Excel, define a name for cell B6 (such as "MyData"), and then use that name in the reference, as in Range("MyData"). This approach works because VBA looks up the name in order to determine which cell is being referenced, and Excel makes sure the named range references remain up-to-date as you add or delete cells.

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 (12919) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Changing Macro Cell References Based on Edits.

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

Adding Your Own Menu Items

You can customize Word to your heart's content. One way to customize the program is by adding options to the Word menus. ...

Discover More

Returning Zero when a Referenced Cell is Blank

Reference a cell in a macro, and if that cell is blank Excel normally equates that to a zero value. What if you don't ...

Discover More

Sorting Decimal Values

Government and industrial organizations often use a numbering system that relies upon a number both before and after a ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Selecting Columns in VBA when Cells are Merged

If you have a macro that selects different columns in a worksheet while processing information, you may get some ...

Discover More

Calculating an ISBN Check Digit

ISBNs are used to uniquely identify books. You may need to know if an ISBN is valid or not, which involves calculating ...

Discover More

Disabling All Function Keys Except One

Disabling function keys is rather easy to do when you rely on the OnKey method in a macro. This tip looks at how you can ...

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 7 + 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.