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: Progression Indicator in a Macro.

Progression Indicator in a Macro

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 28, 2014)

2

Macros are often created to process data, and processing data can often take a long time. Because of this, some users may think that their computer has stopped responding, even though the macro is busy chunking away a it's appointed task.

The solution for most macro developers is to somehow alert users as to the progress of the macro. There are two ways that you can do this in Excel. The simplest and most common approach is to use the status bar to indicate what the macro is doing. All you need to do is put together a string that contains the status message, and then assign that string to the StatusBar property of the Application object, as shown here:

sStatus = "Processing Input File - Please Be Patient"
Application.StatusBar = sStatus

The message stays on the status bar until you overwrite it with some other message. You could also indicate progress in a loop by giving the percentage complete:

For x = 1 to y
    Application.StatusBar = Format(x/y,"0.0%") & " Complete"
' Other coding here
Next

When your routine finishes, return the status bar back to normal with the following statement:

    Application.StatusBar = False

If you prefer to develop an actual progress indicator for the macro, you can do so by creating a UserForm and then updating the form to display a "percentage bar" or some other visual indicator. Most people who desire this type of progress indicator rely on a variation of John Walkenbach's solution, found at this address:

http://spreadsheetpage.com/index.php/tip/displaying_a_progress_indicator/

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3223) 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: Progression Indicator 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

Cross-referencing to an Automatic Number

Word allows you to add automatic numbering to different elements of your document, such as to headings. If you want to create ...

Discover More

Adjusting the Width of Characters

Need to adjust how your characters look horizontally? Word provides an easy way you can scale the horizontal appearance of ...

Discover More

Formatting Line Numbers

Legal documents often use automatic line numbering for their documents. If you want to format those line numbers, you can do ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Using a Progress Indicator in Macros

A few tips on adding a progress indicator that runs during long macro calculations.

Discover More

Checking if a Workbook is Already Open

Knowing of a workbook is already open can be a prerequisite to your macro working correctly. Here's how to check it out.

Discover More

Turning Off Screen Updating

Want a quick way to speed up your macros? All you need to do is to stop Excel from updating the screen while the macro is ...

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 7 + 8?

2014-06-30 10:07:36

Scott Renz

I have a macro that takes about 14 minutes to run. So, I add a worksheet with 22 named steps in column A. I start off with Application.ScreenUpdating=false. As each step progresses, I put Application.ScreenUpdating=True, add a bunch of dots to the end of the step name and the current time, and then put Application.ScreenUpdating=False. This keeps the user entertained and can see how long it is taking to progress.


2014-06-28 11:02:40

John

Be careful about adding % complete statuses as shown in the second example. In programming, printing to the screen takes a very long time relative to the rest of the functions. If you print a new status on every pass through a loop, your macro may end up taking a LOT longer to complete. For that reason, I will typically only update status every 100 or 1000 times through a loop, depending on the complexity of the loop. This way, you get periodic status updates, without significantly slowing down the macro.


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
Share