Excel.Tips.Net ExcelTips (Menu Interface)

Making VLOOKUP Trigger a Macro

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Making VLOOKUP Trigger a Macro.

Mike uses VLOOKUP regularly in his worksheets, but wonders if there is a way to make the function run a macro if it fails to return a value.

There are a couple of ways you could approach this problem. First, you could use a conditional formula to determine whether VLOOKUP will return a value or an error. If it will return an error, then you can have the formula run a user-defined function (MyUDF), as shown here:


All you need to do is make sure that you put your actual VLOOKUP code in the formula (twice) and replace MyUDF with the name of the user-defined function you want to trigger.

Another approach is to set up an event handler for the Calculate event. This can be rather simple, as in the following:

Private Sub Worksheet_Calculate()
   If IsError(Range("A1")) Then Call Macro1
End Sub

This example assumes that the VLOOKUP formula is in cell A1 and that you want to run a macro called Macro1 if the VLOOKUP returns an error. Your macro could then do whatever you need it to do. Remember, as well, that the Calculate event handler should be placed in the ThisWorksheet object.

You could also make the Calculate event handler a bit more robust, as shown here:

Private Sub Worksheet_Calculate()
    On Error GoTo myMac
    If Range("A1").Value Then
        Exit Sub
    End If
    Macro1   'macro to run if VLOOKUP fails
End Sub

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3891) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Making VLOOKUP Trigger a Macro.

Related Tips:

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!


Leave your own comment:

  Notify me about new comments ONLY FOR THIS TIP
Notify me about new comments ANYWHERE ON THIS SITE
Hide my email address
*What is 5+3 (To prevent automated submissions and spam.)
           Commenting Terms

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

Our Company

Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.

About Tips.Net

Contact Us


Advertise with Us

Our Privacy Policy

Our Sites


Beauty and Style




DriveTips (Google Drive)

ExcelTips (Excel 97–2003)

ExcelTips (Excel 2007–2016)



Home Improvement

Money and Finances


Pests and Bugs

Pets and Animals

WindowsTips (Microsoft Windows)

WordTips (Word 97–2003)

WordTips (Word 2007–2016)

Our Products

Helpful E-books

Newsletter Archives


Excel Products

Word Products

Our Authors

Author Index

Write for Tips.Net

Copyright © 2016 Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.