When looking at a big table of analysis (or data), it would make our life simpler if the selected cell’s column and row are highlighted, so that we can instantly compare and get a sense of things. Like this:
Who doesn’t like a little highlighting. So lets learn how to do highlighting today.
Step 1: Identify the area for highlighting
This is simple, unless you are AUI (analyzing under influence). Lets assume that we are dealing with a range of cells in B4:I14
Step 2: Use 2 cells to capture the selected row & column details
Outside our highlight range, lets set aside 2 cells (E17 & E18 in this case) for keeping the details of which row & column needs to be highlighted.
We can call these cells selRow & selCol.
Step 3: Unleash the VBA magic
- Right click on the sheet name & choose ‘view code’.
- Choose Worksheet & Selection Change from the drop-downs.
- Excel would add a blank
- Write the below lines of code.
[selRow] = Target.Row
[selCol] = Target.Column
- Done. So much simpler than using floo network or transmogrifying muggles.
Step 4: Add conditional formatting to highlight selected cell’s row & column
Now that we know which row & column should be highlighted, it is a simple matter of switching on Excel’s highlighting charm – Conditional Formatting.
Select the entire range (B4:I14) and go to conditional formatting > new rule
Select the rule type as Use a formula… and use a below rules.
=ROW(B4) = selRow
- Apply formatting
- Repeat the steps & this time use the rule
=COLUMN(B4) = selCol
Step 5: Show off.
Incorporate this technique in to your dashboard or weekly report. Watch the socks knocked off your boss’. Bask in the glory. Repeat and enjoy.
Bonus Tip: Use similar technique to enhance user inputs
You can use similar idea to conditionally show messages on your worksheets. See this demo.
I am not telling you how to do this. But I know you are awesome enough to figure this out.
Download Example File
Click here to download example file & understand how to use this technique.
Do you use highlighting techniques in your reports & analysis?
I always use conditional formatting & light-weight VBA to enhance my dashboards and analysis. Especially conditional formatting is almost a magical way to make stunning reports & show off things that are important.
What about you? Do you use these techniques often? what is your experience like? Please share your tips & ideas using comments. I am all ears.
Transmogrify your boring work to awesome – Check out!
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For more potent magic, please consider joining our Online VBA Classes. You are going to leave everyone spellbound.