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: Selecting a Specific Cell in a Macro.

Selecting a Specific Cell in a Macro

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 8, 2018)

3

It is often necessary to select a particular cell in a macro. It is harder, however, to select that cell if it is in a different workbook. For instance, consider the following two lines of code:

Sub CellSelect1()
    Workbooks("pwd.xls").Sheets("Sheet3").Select
    ActiveSheet.Range("A18").Select
End Sub

You might think that this macro will select Sheet3!A18 in the pwd.xls workbook. It does, with some caveats. If you have more than one workbook open, this macro results in an error, if pwd.xls isn't the currently active workbook. This occurs even if pwd.xls is already open, but simply not selected.

The same behavior exists even when you condense the selection code down to a single line:

Sub CellSelect2()
    Workbooks("pwd.xls").Sheets("Sheet3").Range("A18").Select
End Sub

You still get the error, except when pwd.xls is the active workbook. The solution is to entirely change how you perform the jump. Instead of using the Select method, use the Goto method and specify a target address for the method:

Sub CellSelect3()
    Application.Goto _
      Reference:=Workbooks("pwd.xls").Sheets("Sheet3").[A18]
End Sub

This code will work only if pwd.xls is already open, but it doesn't need to be the currently active workbook. If you want the target workbook to be scrolled so that the specified cell is in the upper-left corner of what you are viewing, then you can specify the Scroll attribute to be True, as shown here:

Sub CellSelect4()
    Application.Goto _
      Reference:=Workbooks("pwd.xls").Sheets("Sheet3").[A18] _
      Scroll:=True
End Sub

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 (2791) 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: Selecting a Specific Cell in a Macro.

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

Sorting while Ignoring Leading Characters

Want to ignore some characters at the beginning of each cell when sorting? The easiest way is to simply create other ...

Discover More

Disappearing Footnotes

Footnotes can be an integral part of many documents, particularly those written for a scholarly audience. If those ...

Discover More

Permanently Turning On Set Precision As Displayed

Some people prefer to have what is displayed on the screen in Excel be the precision at which the program works. If you ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Using Message Boxes

When creating a macro, one of the ways you can communicate with users is through the use of a message box. This tip ...

Discover More

Changing Directories in a Macro

Need to specify which directory on your hard drive should be used by a macro? It's easy to do using the ChDir command.

Discover More

Determining the RGB Value of a Color

Excel allows you to fill a cell's background with just about any color you want. If you need to determine the RGB value ...

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. 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 7 + 4?

2018-09-10 03:52:27

Michael (Micky) Avidan

To my opinion you don't need Select and/or Activate.

Try: Application.Goto Workbooks("pwd.xls").Sheets("Sheet3").[A18]
-------------------
Micky Avidan


2018-09-09 05:36:33

Willy Vanhaelen

By substituting Select with Activate in the first line, the first macro will work even with more than one workbook open:

Sub CellSelect1()
Workbooks("pwd.xls").Sheets("Sheet3").Activate
ActiveSheet.Range("A18").Select
End Sub


2018-09-08 04:55:56

Barry

simpler solution do not use the "Select" object. There are a very limited number of instances when you need to use the Select object, so it better programming practice to avoid its use wherever possible.


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.