Running a Macro while in Edit Mode

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 8, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


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Brendon created a very simple macro to save the current workbook and close it. He then added an icon to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) for the macro. The macro works well if the user isn't in Edit mode in the worksheet. If, for example, a user enters data in a cell but never presses Enter or doesn't select a different cell, then the macro won't run. It's like the QAT icon is greyed out. Brendon wonders how he can get around this and force the macro to run.

Brendon has run up against one of the fundamental limitations of Excel—you cannot run a macro while you are in Edit mode. In fact, there are many things you cannot do while you are in Edit mode—for instance, most of the ribbon tools aren't available, and most shortcut keys won't work. Excel limits what you can do to only those things dealing with editing the cell contents.

The solution is to get out of Edit mode before running the macro. One easy way to do this is to (as Brendon points out) simply press Enter or press Tab to move to a different cell.

If training the user to do that is a bit too much, then you might place your macro somewhere else besides the QAT. The most effective approach would be to place a shape in your workbook and then attach the macro to that shape. (How to actually do this is a bit beyond the scope of this particular tip.) The shape—which you would need to design in a graphics program—could look a "button" that says something like "Click here to save and exit." The user, in clicking on the shape, would automatically leave Edit mode, which means the macro attached to the shape would run.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (13736) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 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. ...

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What is two less than 9?

2020-02-08 15:25:19

John Mann

While it's possible to use a graphics programme to design a shape to be used as a button, it's not necessary (a tleast not in Excel 10).

On the Ribon, click "Insert" then "Shapes" Choose a shape you like, edit it in the way you desire, and the wished for text. Then right click the shape and from the context menu select "Assign Macro..." From now on you can either add an existing macro or create a new one.


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