Deleting Zero Values from a Data Table

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 9, 2016)


Robert would like a macro that finds all instances of cells in a data table that have a zero value and, then, deletes those cells. He wonders how to go about doing this.

For the purposes of this tip, I'm going to assume that Robert actually wants to clear the values in the cells, not actually delete the cells. Further, I'm going to assume that he doesn't want to just hide zero values, as can be easily done with a simple setting change in Excel. (How you do this has been covered in other ExcelTips.)

There are actually a few ways you can go about getting rid of your zero values. One way doesn't even use macros, but instead relies upon the Find and Replace capabilities of Excel:

  1. Press Ctrl+H. Excel displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. Click the Options button to expand the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The expanded Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  4. In the Find What box, enter 0.
  5. Make sure the Replace With box is empty.
  6. Select the Match Entire Cell Contents check box.
  7. Click Replace All to perform the replacements.

You could even, if desired, translate the above steps into a short little macro:

Sub ReplaceZeros()
    Cells.Replace What:="0", Replacement:="", _
      LookAt:=xlWhole, SearchOrder:=xlByRows
End Sub

There is a limit to what this approach will accomplish, most notably it will only replace cells that actually contain a 0 value. It will not replace formulas that resolve to 0. For instance, if a cell contained the fomula =4-4, which resolves to 0, the Find and Replace operation ignores it because there is not actually a 0 value in the cell.

If you want something that will actually clear cells that either contain 0 or resolve to 0, then you'll need a different macro approach. Here's a good one:

Sub DeleteZeroes()
    Dim rCell As Range

    For Each rCell In Selection
        If rCell.Value = 0 Then
        End If
End Sub

To use the macro, simply select the cells you want to affect and then run the macro. It looks through each of the selected cells and removes the contents of any cell that contains a 0 value—and in this case that also includes any formulas that resolve to 0.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (13437) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

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 1 + 5?

2016-04-11 12:42:30

Michael (Micky) Avidan

@Rod Grealish,
(see Figure 1 below)
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2016)

Figure 1. 

2016-04-11 06:54:46

Rod Grealish

As I understand the question and answer, Robert, the originator of the question, wants to remove zero entries not just hide them. The tip answers that question.

2016-04-11 04:14:20

Paul B

You could also use conditional formatting where you set the value to equal to zero and text colour to white.

This helps if you have formulas in the cells that produce a zero value

2016-04-09 10:32:09

John Downes

Why not just suppress any unwanted zeros using format?

Selection.NumberFormat = "#,##0;-#,##0;;@"

2016-04-09 04:55:40

John Gooch

Why not click 'File', 'Options', Advanced', and then unclick the box "Show a zero in cells that have zero value'?.

This applies to the whole sheet

This always works for me . . . .

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