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: Identifying the Last Cell Changed in a Worksheet.

Identifying the Last Cell Changed in a Worksheet

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 7, 2017)

John wonders if there is a way in VBA to identify the last cell that was changed by a user. He doesn't want to know if the cell was changed by a macro, but specifically by a user.

The answer is yes—sort of. You can use the Worksheet_Change event to write a handler that will record when any particular cell in a worksheet is changed. A macro that does this could be rather simple, such as this one:

Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
    Application.StatusBar = Target.Address
End Sub

The macro simply puts the address of the last change into the status bar. You could modify the macro so that it maintained the address in a global variable (declared outside of the event handler) in this manner:

Dim sAddr As String

Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
    sAddr = Target.Address(False, False)
End Sub

You then could use a regular macro to retrieve the address stored in the sAddr variable and do whatever you want with it.

As for making sure that the event handler doesn't record any changes done by macros, the only way to do this is to turn off event handling before executing any macro command that will modify the worksheet. For instance, the following EnableEvents property change could be used before and after a command that changes the contents of cell A1:

Application.EnableEvents = False
Range("A1") = "Hello"
Application.EnableEvents = True

With event handling turned off, the Worksheet_Change event handler won't be triggered and the "last changed" address won't be updated. The result is that you end up tracking only those changes done by users, not changes done by macros.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3819) 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: Identifying the Last Cell Changed in a Worksheet.

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. ...

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