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.

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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. ...

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