Getting a List of Matching Cells

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 3, 2018)

When Michael does a "Find All" operation in Excel, the program helpfully shows a list of all the cells containing whatever he is searching for. Michael would like to copy that list of cell addresses into another worksheet, so he wonders if there is a way to copy the list to the Clipboard so he can paste it into a worksheet.

There are a few ways you can accomplish this task, and most of them involve the use of macros. Before getting to the macro-based approaches, however, let's take a look at way you could access the addresses using named ranges and the Name Manager:

  1. Use FindAll as before, but don't close the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. In the list of addresses you are shown, scroll to the bottom, hold down the Shift key, and click on the last match. Excel selects all the matching cells.
  3. Press Esc to close the Find and Replace dialog box. The matching cells are still all selected.
  4. Type a name in the Name Box (just to the left of the Formula bar and just above cell A1). This creates a named range that consists of all the selected cells.
  5. Display the Formulas tab of the ribbon.
  6. Click the Name Manger tool. Excel displays the Name Manager's dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  7. Figure 1. The Name Manager dialog box.

  8. Click on the name you created in step 4.
  9. The list of cells will be in the Refers To box, at the bottom of the dialog box.

At this point you can copy the information in the Refers To box and paste it into whatever you want (including another worksheet). You'll need to massage the data a bit after you paste it, as the list is just that—a serial list of cell addresses.

Obviously, this affects your workbook, as it creates a named range. If you do it multiple times, you'll have multiple named ranges created. This can, of course, quickly get unwieldy if you need to perform the task quite often. This is where the macro solutions come into play. The following is an example of a macro that will search for a specific value and then place the address of every cell containing that value into another worksheet.

Sub CellAdressList()
    Dim c1 As String
    Dim nxt As String

    Sheets("Sheet1").Select
    Range("A1").Select
    Cells.Find(What:="qrs", After:=ActiveCell, _
      LookIn:=xlValues, LookAt:=xlWhole, _
      SearchOrder:=xlByRows, SearchDirection:=xlNext, _
      MatchCase:=False, SearchFormat:=False).Activate
    c1 = ActiveCell.Address
    Sheets("Sheet2").Select
    Range("A1").Select
    Range("A1").Value = c1
    Do Until nxt = c1
        Sheets("Sheet1").Select
        Cells.FindNext(After:=ActiveCell).Activate
        nxt = ActiveCell.Address
        Sheets("Sheet2").Select
        ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select
        ActiveCell.Value = nxt
    Loop
    ActiveCell.Value = ""
End Sub

The macro makes a few assumptions. First, it assumes that you are searching for information on the worksheet named Sheet1. Second, it assumes you want the list of addresses placed in the worksheet named Sheet2. Finally, it assumes you are searching for the value "qrs" within Sheet1. All of these elements of the macro can be changed, if desired.

For something just a bit more flexible, consider the following macro. It assumes that you have already selected all the cells that contain the value you want. (In other words, you need to perform steps 1 through 3 of the steps near the beginning of this tip.) You can then run the macro.

Sub CopyFindAllSelection()
    Dim outcell As Range
    Dim c As Range

    Set outcell = Range("Sheet2!A1")
    For Each c In Selection
        outcell.Value = c.Address
        Set outcell = outcell.Offset(1, 0)
    Next
End Sub

The result is that the addresses of the selected cells are placed into the Sheet2 worksheet. This macro is a bit more flexible because it allows you to find anything in any worksheet. The only part "hard coded" is the worksheet (Sheet2) into which the addresses are placed.

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 (13581) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365.

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

Displaying a Message in the Status Bar

A great place for your macro to display status information is, well, in the status bar. Displaying the information is ...

Discover More

Smart Quotes with Dragon Naturally Speaking

Dragon Naturally Speaking is a very popular transcription tool that converts speech into text. When using the program ...

Discover More

Templates and Page Setup

Templates are a great way to share styles, macros, and other settings among various documents. One thing that isn't ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Superscripts in Find and Replace

The find and replace used in Excel is less powerful than its counterpart in Word, so it is not able to do some of the ...

Discover More

Replacing Tildes at the Beginning of a Cell

Replacing a specific character (such as a tilde) seems a simple task, until you need to replace it only in a certain ...

Discover More

Searching by Columns, by Default

Do you often want to search through a worksheet by column rather than by row? Excel defaults to searching by row, of ...

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 five more than 5?

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.