Conditionally Playing an Audio File

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 14, 2017)

Tassos would like to have Excel play an audio file when the value in a certain cell exceeds a threshold. For instance, when the value in a cell exceeds 999 he would like a particular sound file to be played.

There is no built-in way to do this in Excel (although it would be an interesting addition to Excel's conditional formatting features). You can, however, play a sound file by using a macro to do a call to the Windows API.

You need to start by placing some code in the Sheet object for the workbook. (Right-click the tab for the worksheet and choose View Code from the Context menu.) Declare the function "playsound" using the following code:

Private Declare Function PlaySound Lib "winmm.dll" _
  Alias "PlaySoundA" (ByVal lpszName As String, _
  ByVal hModule As Long, ByVal dwFlags As Long) As Long

    Const SND_SYNC = &H0
    Const SND_ASYNC = &H1
    Const SND_FILENAME = &H20000

Next you can create a short little macro that will actually play the sound file. Assuming that the sound file is in the same directory as the workbook, the following code will work. (You should modify the code so that it contains the proper filename and location.)

Sub PlayWAV()
    WAVFile = ThisWorkbook.Path & "\MyAudioFile.wav"
    Call PlaySound(WAVFile, 0&, SND_ASYNC Or SND_FILENAME)
End Sub

Finally, establish the criteria when the file is to be played. In this case you want the sound file to play whenever the value in the target cell exceeds the threshold value of 999. The following will check for that condition in cell C5 and, if warranted, play the sound file:

Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
    Threshold = 999
    If Range("C5").Value > Threshold Then PlayWAV
End Sub

Now, whenever the value in Cell C5 changes and exceeds 999, the audio file will play one time. If the values is changed to less than 999, nothing plays. If the value changes to another value that exceeds 999, the sound file will play again.

For additional ideas on playing audio files, check out these sites:

http://www.j-walk.com/ss/excel/tips/tip87.htm
http://www.cpearson.com/excel/PlaySound.aspx

You should note, as well, that you can get Excel to play a system sound by using data validation. Simply set up the validation criteria (described in other issues of ExcelTips) and then, on the Error tab, specify whether you want Excel to stop, warn, or inform the user. When a value is entered in the cell that does not fit the criteria, a dialog box is displayed and the system sound is heard.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6559) 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

Using Subtotals and Totals

You can insert subtotals and totals in your worksheets by using either a formula or specialized tools. This tip explains ...

Discover More

Underlining Tabs In Numbered Lists

When Word creates an automatically numbered list, it removes some of your formatting flexibility. One thing you can't ...

Discover More

Forcing Dates Forward

Want to push a date to some pre-defined day of the month? Here are some ways to force the issue.

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Limiting Precision

There may be times you need to limit the amount of precision Excel uses in its calculations. Here is one way to ...

Discover More

Selecting Tabs in Dialog Boxes

Want to move around in dialog boxes using just the keyboard? You'll love the ideas in this tip, then.

Discover More

Disappearing Toolbar Buttons for Macros

One of the important configuration files for Excel is known as the XLB file. You should periodically make backups of this ...

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 eight less than 8?

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.