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: Storing a User's Location before Running a Macro.

Storing a User's Location before Running a Macro

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 10, 2016)

John has a macro that does some processing on various worksheets in a workbook. He wants, at the beginning of the macro, to save the range of cells (or the single cell) that the user has selected. He uses ActiveCell.Address to determine this. Then, at the end of the macro, he wants to return to the user with the same range selected that they originally had selected.

The problem is, the macro could be finished on an entirely different worksheet than where the user started, and ActiveCell.Address only gives a cell address, not a worksheet name and definitely not a range. John wonders about the best way to store what he needs so he can return to the user's original location at the end of the macro.

For the best chance of getting someone back to where they started, there are three elements: workbook, worksheet, and cell. Actually, this last element (cell) may be a bit simplistic, as the user will always have a cell selected (this is what is returned by ActiveCell.Address), but may additionally have a range selected.

Here's how you get all four items:

Dim rngOrigSelection As Range
Dim rngOrigCell As Range
Dim sOrigWS As String
Dim sOrigWB As String

Set rngOrigSelection = Selection
Set rngOrigCell = ActiveCell
sOrigWS = ActiveSheet.Name
sOrigWB = ActiveWorkbook.Name

When you want to later return the user to where they were, you can use this type of code:

Workbooks(sOrigWB).Activate
Sheets(sOrigWS).Select
rngOrigSelection.Select
rngOrigCell.Activate

Of course, Excel always has multiple ways that you can accomplish any given task. In this case, you could shorten your code by only remembering the active cell and selected range:

Dim rngOrigSelection As Range
Dim rngOrigCell As Range

Set rngOrigSelection = Selection
Set rngOrigCell = ActiveCell

When you want to restore the user to the location, you rely upon the Parent object available in VBA:

rngOrigSelection.Parent.Parent.Activate
rngOrigSelection.Parent.Select
rngOrigSelection.Select
rngOrigCell.Activate

The Parent object of the selection range you saved is the worksheet in which that range is located, and the Parent of that Parent object is the workbook in which the worksheet is located.

Another approach is to simply create, within your macro, a named range that refers to whatever the user had selected:

ActiveWorkbook.Names.Add Name:="MyOrigPlace", RefersTo:=Selection

After you do your processing, when you are ready to return to what the user had selected, you use this code:

Application.Goto Reference:="MyOrigPlace"
ActiveWorkbook.Names("MyOrigPlace").Delete

The first line returns to the selection and the second line then deletes the named range. The only drawback to this approach is that the active cell is not retained; the code assumes that you want the upper-left cell in the range to be the active cell when it is done. You should also be aware that if your processing deletes the cells that make up the named range, then the code may not work properly—Excel can't go to a place that no longer exists.

Of course, you may not have to remember any location at all, if you code your macro correctly. While VBA allows you to "move around" and select different areas of your worksheets and workbook, in most cases this isn't necessary. You could, for instance, simply work with different ranges and then do your work on those ranges, without ever changing the current selection or active cell. Indeed, VBA allows you to change, reformat, sort, delete, and do almost anything you can imagine to cells without actually needing to select them.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3285) 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: Storing a User's Location before Running 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

Creating a Split Page

In WordPerfect terminology, a split page allows you to put information side-by-side on opposite halves of the page. If you ...

Discover More

Filling References to Another Workbook

When you create references to cells in other workbooks, Excel, by default, makes the references absolute. This makes it ...

Discover More

Setting the Wrapping Default for Objects

Want to have objects such as text boxes and shapes always appear using some formatting you like? Here are some ideas on ...

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)

Adding a Macro to a Toolbar

A great way to customize Excel is to add your macros to a toolbar. That way you can run them quickly and easily.

Discover More

Running a Macro When a Worksheet is Deactivated

You can easily configure Excel so that it runs a specific macro whenever a worksheet is deactivated. Just follow the easy ...

Discover More

Setting Row Height in a Macro

Macros can be used to change the formatting of your worksheet, if desired. One change you might want to make is to the height ...

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:

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.

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