Creating an Animated Count Up

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 15, 2024)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


1

Ray would like, if possible, a way to animate a "count up" for a value in a cell. For instance, in cell B7 he might have a value of 23. He would like to reference that value in cell E4 and have cell E4 count up from 0 to 23 (0, 1, 2, 3, etc.), showing each number in turn.

There is no built-in way to do this in Excel, but you can use a macro to do the animation. Basically, the macro would need to find out what is in cell B7, and then use a For...Next loop to step through the values between 0 and whatever is in B7. During each iteration of the loop, the value in E4 is changed and some sort of delay is introduced.

The delay portion of the macro is what actually provides the ability to vary how the macro does its work. The delay is necessary to make the animation seem to work; without it, the numbers in E4 would increment too quickly. Excel provides a couple of handy ways to implement the delay. For instance, this example of the macro relies on the Sleep function:

#If VBA7 Then
Private Declare PtrSafe Sub Sleep Lib "kernel32" (ByVal dwMilliseconds As Long)
#Else
Private Declare Sub Sleep Lib "kernel32" (ByVal dwMilliseconds As Long)
#End If
Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
    Dim n As Integer
    Const cellWatch As String = "$B$7"
    Const cellCount As String = "$E$4"
    Const msec As Long = 200 ' milliseconds
    If Target.Address = cellWatch Then
        Application.EnableEvents = False
        Range(cellCount).Show
        If IsNumeric(Target) Then
            For n = 0 To Target ' skipped if Target < 0
                Range(cellCount) = n
                Sleep msec ' delay each increment
            Next n
        End If
        Range(cellCount) = Target
        Application.EnableEvents = True
    End If
End Sub

This code should be added to the ThisWorksheet module, as it is designed to run every time something changes in the worksheet. The code checks to see if the cell being changed is the target cell (B7). If it is, then it grabs the value there and jumps into a For...Next loop that updates whatever is in cell E4. The Sleep function is used to delay, in this instance, 200 milliseconds between each update of E4.

If you want a macro that is shorter and doesn't rely on the Worksheet_Change event handler, you might consider the following. It utilizes the Wait method to pause in the For...Next loop:

Sub CountUp()
    Dim J As Integer
    For J = 0 To Range("B7").Value
        Range("E4").Value = J
        Application.Wait (Now + TimeValue("0:00:01"))
    Next J
    Range("E4").Value = Range("B7").Value
End Sub

This version of the macro pauses a full second between each update to cell E4.

Whenever you use a macro like this that implements some sort of delay, remember that your worksheet may seem less responsive. This is because of that delay and however large the value is that is in cell E4. (The larger the value, the longer the aggregate delay.)

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 (13753) 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Finding Changes by Editor

Creating a Macro to find changes made by different editors.

Discover More

Understanding Strikethrough Formatting

The strikethrough text feature in Word can be used as part of your document or to indicate that changes have been made to ...

Discover More

Editing a Hyperlink

Word allows you to embed active hyperlinks in your documents. If you later want to change or edit that hyperlink, you can ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Summing Only Visible Values

When you use SUM to determine the total of a range of values, Excel doesn't really pay attention to whether the values ...

Discover More

Creating Dependent Cells

Making the values in two cells mirror each other may seem like a desirable thing to do. It can be done, as discussed in ...

Discover More

Hiding Excel in VBA

Want to have you macro completely hide the Excel interface? You can do so by using the Visible property for the Excel ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 seven more than 9?

2020-03-28 15:29:06

Frederick Costello

I tried this method to update a graph, but it did not work. Only after VBA stopped running (e.g., with STOP) would the graph update.


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.