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: Displaying the Selected Cell's Address.

Displaying the Selected Cell's Address

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 16, 2016)

4

Excel allows you to easily see the location of the currently selected cell by examining the contents of the Name Box, to the left of the Formula Bar. This is fine and good, but there are times when you would like to have the address of a cell actually in a cell. For instance, you may want cell A1 to contain the address of the currently selected cell. This means that if cell E4 were selected, then A1 would contain its address, or $E$4. If you then pressed the right-arrow key, then the contents of A1 would change to $F$4.

In order to return the address of the currently selected cell, you must resort to using macros. The following macro will return the value of the cell selected at the time it is run:

Public Function CurrentCell() As String
    Application.Volatile
    CurrentCell = ActiveCell.Address
End Function

The inclusion of the Application.Volatile method means that every time the worksheet is recalculated, this function (macro) is again run. To use the macro you can place the following in any cell desired, including A1:

=CurrentCell

You should note that this macro doesn't result in the contents of A1 changing every time you move to a different cell. Again, the contents of A1 will change only when the workbook is recalculated, either by changing something in the worksheet or by pressing F9.

If, instead, you need to have a "real time" version that automatically updates A1 as the selected cell is changed, you can follow these steps:

  1. Display the VBA Editor by pressing Alt+F11.
  2. In the Project window, at the left side of the Editor, double-click on the name of the worksheet you are using. (You may need to first open the VBAProject folder, and then open the Microsoft Excel Objects folder under it.)
  3. In the code window for the worksheet, click on the Object drop-down list and choose Worksheet. When you do, the Procedure should change to SelectionChange, and the framework for the event handler should appear in the code window.
  4. Change the event handler so it appears as follows:
  5. Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Excel.Range)
        Range("A1").Value = ActiveCell.Address
    End Sub
    
  6. Close the VBA Editor.

Now, as you move about this single sheet, the contents of A1 should be constantly updated to reflect your location.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2302) 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: Displaying the Selected Cell's Address.

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

Sequentially Numbered Labels

A common task in Word is to create labels. This tip presents two approaches you can use when you need to create labels that ...

Discover More

Seeing Full File Names in the Files Menu

Wouldn't it be great if you could look at the files in the MRU list and see the full path and file names? Excel condenses the ...

Discover More

Changing an Invalid Autosave Folder

Excel allows you to specify where it stores various files used by the program. One location you can specify is where Autosave ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Forcing Manual Calculation For a Workbook

If you have a large, complex workbook, you may want to make sure that it is always calculated manually instead of ...

Discover More

Getting a File Name

Does your macro need to allow the user to specify a particular file name that should be used by the macro? Here's a quick ...

Discover More

Converting Numbers Into Words

Write out a check and you need to include the digits for the amount of the check and the value of the check written out in ...

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 for this tip:

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 two less than 3?

2016-10-20 12:56:57

mrs. Satrouis21

thank you so much this program is amazing and cool i like it so much.


2016-10-20 12:55:55

f

Thank you so much its great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


2015-03-12 22:12:43

WonJe Jo

Thank you so much!! it's great!!! Your teaching is also excellent!!! Thank you.


2012-12-30 06:14:52

Pieter de la Court

The function Cell("Address") does exactly the same as the macro 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.

Links and Sharing