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: Highlighting the Rows of Selected Cells.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 22, 2018)
Sometimes it is easy to lose track of where the selected cell is located in a worksheet. There are several ways you can locate the cell, but sometimes it would be handy to just have a way to highlight the whole row of the selected cell.
The easiest way to do this in Excel is to press Shift+Space Bar. The entire row is highlighted, and the selected cell remains the same. If you want to move to another cell in the same row (without changing the highlight), you can use Tab to move to the right and Shift+Tab to move to the left.
If you prefer to have Excel automatically highlight the row, you must rely upon a macro. The following one will do the trick:
Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Excel.Range) Static rr Static cc If cc <> "" Then With Columns(cc).Interior .ColorIndex = xlNone End With With Rows(rr).Interior .ColorIndex = xlNone End With End If r = Selection.Row c = Selection.Column rr = r cc = c With Columns(c).Interior .ColorIndex = 20 .Pattern = xlSolid End With With Rows(r).Interior .ColorIndex = 20 .Pattern = xlSolid End With End Sub
Make sure you attach the macro to the worksheet you are using at the time. All the code does is highlight the row and column the active cell is at. When moving to another cell, the code remembers the previous cell (by using variables declared as Static) and removes the highlighting from the previous rows and columns. This code highlights both the current row and column. For just highlighting the row, remove the chunks of code with r and rr in them. The only real problem with this method is that if your sheet has any previous color-filled cells, these will be changed to NoFill, erasing any color that was there.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2457) 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: Highlighting the Rows of Selected Cells.
Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!
You may be looking for a way to have a formula determine if a particular cell has anything in it. Here's how you can find ...Discover More
Importing data into Excel that was generated in other programs can have some interesting side effects. For instance, you ...Discover More
Want to limit what a person can enter into a particular cell? You can use Excel's data validation feature to help enforce ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.