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: Forcing a Macro to Run when a Worksheet is Recalculated.

Forcing a Macro to Run when a Worksheet is Recalculated

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 22, 2017)

When you write a macro, it is designed to be run whenever you choose to run it. What if you need to develop a macro that will run whenever something changes in your worksheet? What if you want the macro to run automatically? This is particularly necessary if you are creating a custom function that you want to use within the cells of the worksheet.

This is where the Volatile method comes in handy. All you need to do is include the following statement within your macro:

Application.Volatile

This informs Excel that the results of the macro are dependent on the values in the worksheet, and that it should be executed whenever the worksheet is recalculated. For instance, consider the following user-defined function:

Function CountCells(MyRange As Range)
    Dim iCount As Integer
    iCount = 0
    For Each cell In MyRange
        If cell.HasFormula Then
            iCount = iCount + 1
        End If
    Next cell
    CountCells = iCount
End Function

This function, if used in a cell, counts the number of cells that contain formulas within a specified range. However, the function will only run the first time it is entered into a cell, or whenever the cell containing the formula is edited. If you want the function to recalculate every time the worksheet is recalculated, you would add the Volatile method near the beginning of the function:

Function CountCells(MyRange As Range)
    Dim iCount As Integer
    Application.Volatile
    iCount = 0
    For Each cell In MyRange
        If cell.HasFormula Then
            iCount = iCount + 1
        End If
    Next cell
    CountCells = iCount
End Function

The inclusion of the Application.Volatile method means that every time the worksheet is recalculated, this function (macro) is again run.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2013) 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: Forcing a Macro to Run when a Worksheet is Recalculated.

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

Conditionally Formatting an Entire Row

Need to conditionally highlight an entire row based on the contents of a single cell in each row? This tip explains how you ...

Discover More

Creating Scenarios

Excel allows you to create different scenarios for the data in your worksheet. These can be saved and managed using the ...

Discover More

Positioning the Cursor in a New Document

Creating special templates is a great way to establish "standards" for your documents. With a little ingenuity you can even ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Finding Columns of a Certain Width

If you need to find out how many columns are set to be a specific width, you'll need a macro to help determine the info. ...

Discover More

Generating Unique, Sequential Names

Do you need to create a number of words or phrases where you only alter a few letters in each one? If the alterations follow ...

Discover More

Automatically Opening Macro Workbooks when Using a Shortcut Key

Click a button on a toolbar and Excel will go so far as to open a another workbook in order to run a macro associated with ...

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. 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 nine minus 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 menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon 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.