Displaying Messages When Automatic Data Changes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 18, 2018)

Joydip has an Excel worksheet that is constantly and automatically updated with live commodity market data. He wants to display a message box containing a particular message whenever the data in a specified cell/range changes to meet some predefined criteria. Data validation won't work, because the validation feature isn't triggered when data changes automatically.

The best way to check the data and display the desired message box is to use a macro that is triggered by the Worksheet_Change event. This event is triggered any time the contents of a cell are changed. It is not, however, triggered by a change in what is displayed in a cell. For instance, if a new piece of commodity data is placed into a cell, then the event is triggered. However, if a formula is recalculated and a new result of that formula displayed, the event is not triggered. Why? Because the formula itself didn't change; it was only the result of the formula (what is displayed) that was changed.

Once the Worksheet_Change event is triggered, the macro can do anything you want it to do, including displaying your message. For this example, let's assume that the range to check is A1:C5 (this is where the commodity data is being inserted) and that the criteria you want to trigger the message is that the average of the range is 5. If the contents of any cell in the range is changed and the average of the values in the range is 5, then a message is displayed.

Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Excel.Range)
    Dim rng As Range
    Set rng = Range("A1:C5")
    If Not Intersect(Target, rng) Is Nothing Then
        If Application.WorksheetFunction. _
          Average(rng) = 5 Then
            MsgBox "The average of " & _
              rng.Address & " = 5"
        End If
    End If
    Set rng = Nothing
End Sub

It is important that this macro be placed in the sheet object for the worksheet you want to monitor. When you display the VBA Editor, right-click on the desired worksheet in the Project Explorer area, then choose View Code from the resulting Context menu. This code window is where you place the macro.

The macro, again, is triggered anytime there is a change anywhere on the worksheet. The macro then uses the Intersect function to determine if the change occurred within the desired A1:C5 range. If it did, then the average of the range is checked, and the message displayed if the result is 5.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2906) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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

Placing the First Two Words from the Following Page In the Footer

Headers and footers can be used for all sorts of information to help orient your document reader. In fact, Word provides ...

Discover More

Adding Many No-Width Optional Breaks

One of the special characters you can add in a document is the no-width optional break. Although originally designed for ...

Discover More

Simple Relative References in External Links

Linked data can be essential in pulling information from one workbook to another. One downside of links, however, is that ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Stepping Through a Non-Contiguous Range of Cells

Using macros to step through each cell in a selection is a common occurrence. What if that selected range is made up of ...

Discover More

Reversing Names In Place

Do you want a way to reverse names within a cell, making them "last, first" instead of "first last?" Here's a handy macro ...

Discover More

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
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 3 + 7?

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.