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: Accepting Only a Single Digit.

Accepting Only a Single Digit

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 4, 2015)

1

Rich wonders how he can configure Excel so that when he enters a single digit it will automatically advance to the next cell. He wants to eliminate hitting Enter or Tab to get to the next cell. The value of the entry for a range of cells will always be a single positive digit.

This cannot be done with any native configuration setting in Excel. Instead, you will need to create a macro that will handle the entry for you. A natural choice for the macro is to use the Change event for the worksheet, so that any time a value is entered into a cell, the entry is "pulled apart" and stuffed in cells in the row.

Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
    If IsNumeric(Target.Value) Then
        CRow = Target.Row
        CColumn = Target.Column - 1
        Entry = Target.Value
        For i = 1 To Len(Entry)
            Cells(CRow, CColumn + i).Value = Mid(Entry, i, 1)
        Next
    End If
End Sub

This macro checks, first, to see if what was entered is numeric. If it is, then the digits are extracted from the value and placed in consecutive cells in the row.

The drawback to such a macro, of course, is that you still need to press Enter to trigger the event. If you want to get away from pressing Enter entirely, then you will need to rely upon a different approach. This technique relies upon the OnKey function to assign macros to specific keystrokes. Place the following code into a standard macro module.

Sub Assigns()
    Dim i As Variant
    With Application
        For i = 0 To 9
            .OnKey i, "dig" & i
        Next
    End With
End Sub
Sub ClearAssigns()
    Dim i As Variant
    With Application
        For i = 0 To 9
            .OnKey i
        Next
    End With
End Sub
Sub dig0()
    ActiveCell.Value = 0
    ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select
End Sub
Sub dig1()
    ActiveCell.Value = 1
    ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select
End Sub
Sub dig2()
    ActiveCell.Value = 2
    ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select
End Sub
Sub dig3()
    ActiveCell.Value = 3
    ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select
End Sub
Sub dig4()
    ActiveCell.Value = 4
    ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select
End Sub
Sub dig5()
    ActiveCell.Value = 5
    ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select
End Sub
Sub dig6()
    ActiveCell.Value = 6
    ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select
End Sub
Sub dig7()
    ActiveCell.Value = 7
    ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select
End Sub
Sub dig8()
    ActiveCell.Value = 8
    ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select
End Sub
Sub dig9()
    ActiveCell.Value = 9
    ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select
End Sub

To start the macro, run the Assigns macro. Thereafter, every time a digit is typed the digit is stuffed into the current cell and the next cell to the right selected. If you type in text, then nothing happens. (Of course, if you try to enter a mixed value, such as B2B, then when you press "2" that is what will end up in the cell.) When you are done with this type of data entry, run the ClearAssigns macro to finish up.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6614) 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: Accepting Only a Single Digit.

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 Drop Cap

Drop caps can be a nice finishing touch for some types of documents. Word allows you to create three types of drop caps, ...

Discover More

Showing a Scenario

When you create and save scenarios in a workbook, you can later pull them out and display them. Here's how to do it.

Discover More

Replacing Quoted Text with Italics

If you have text surrounded by quotes in a document, you may want to remove the quote marks and make the text that was ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Inserting Symbols

Using the Character Map to insert symbols in Excel.

Discover More

Quickly Entering Dates and Times

Excel provides keyboard shortcuts for a variety of purposes. This tip examines two such shortcuts, designed to allow ...

Discover More

Entered Values are Divided by 100

Enter a value into a cell and "poof!" it is automatically divided by 100. What's going on, and how can you fix it so that ...

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 five less than 6?

2016-02-16 12:53:38

Robert Menucci

I used to use Excel everyday, but then changed jobs which used a different Estimating Software, so I got out of practice, especially since I retired.
My question is;
There is a shortcut key to copy the contents of the above, or, previous cell. I just can't find the answer. Maybe that has changed in later versions.
Thanks in advance, I will take the answer off air.
Bob


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.