Yesterday, I talked about how you don’t have to know how to code in order to highly leverage VBA. All you need to know is how to Google, Cut, and Paste. As discussed then, I ‘volunteered’ KV under pain of exposure to empty the contents of his secret satchel onto the virtual table, so that we can rummage through it. So without further ado, please put your hands together and give a warm Chandoo welcome to secret agent KV.
[Secret transmission starts…]
Hello, this is my first guest post on Chandoo.org (or any Excel website for that matter), and I will try to keep it simple, but useful for our readers.
I have been using spreadsheets since 1990, and Excel since 1995 – which sort of makes me a veteran in this sphere of business applications 🙂
One of my favorite topics in Excel is – “How can I make my day-to-day tasks in Excel easier and faster ?”. In fact, this is a topic that I think about in everything to do with computers.
There are many ways one can do this in Excel, but among the more effective and scalable ones, is storing commonly used macros in your Personal Macro Workbook.
This post is about some of the stuff that I have put in my Personal Macro Workbook over the years. You can read more about how to set up a Personal Macro Workbook, in this excellent tutorial on Ron de Bruin’s website. Like nuclear war, It’s a one-time exercise. And you can easily port it to any other computers that you use – or even share it with your friends and allied spooks.
This is the first bunch of macros which I use most frequently. Hopefully I will get a chance to post some more if this post is found to be good enough 🙂
So here goes.
1: Find the value of ActiveCell within selection, or in the whole sheet
This is a very useful macro which helps to search for the value in the ActiveCell within the selected range or the whole worksheet (if only ActiveCell is selected).
Sub SearchOnActiveCellContents() ' Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+G On Error GoTo NotFound If Selection.Cells.Count > 1 Then Selection.Cells.Find _ (What:=ActiveCell.Value, After:=ActiveCell, LookIn:=xlValues, _ LookAt:=xlPart, SearchOrder:=xlByRows, SearchDirection:=xlNext, _ MatchCase:=False, SearchFormat:=False).Activate Else Cells.Find _ (What:=ActiveCell.Value, After:=ActiveCell, LookIn:=xlValues, _ LookAt:=xlPart, SearchOrder:=xlByRows, SearchDirection:=xlNext, _ MatchCase:=False, SearchFormat:=False).Activate End If Exit Sub NotFound: MsgBox "No cells found with this cell's contents" End Sub
As you will notice, the macro checks whether the selection is 1 cell or multiple cells, and accordingly executes the Cells.Find command.
2: Filter on value NOT equal to ActiveCell value
This is another handy macro, which filters the current column based on the value of the active cell, except that the filter is applied as “show records NOT equal to the value of the active cell”
The macro itself is a fairly simple one-line command :
Sub AutoFilterSelectionNOT() ' Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+K Dim lField As Long lField = ActiveCell.Column - ActiveCell.CurrentRegion.Column + 1 If TypeName(Selection) <> "Range" Then Exit Sub Selection.AutoFilter Field:=lField, Criteria1:="<>" & ActiveCell.Value End Sub
3. Show or Hide zeros in active sheet
This macro toggles the display of zero-value cells on the active sheet.
Sub Hide_Zeros() ' Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+Z If TypeName(Selection) <> "Range" Then Exit Sub ActiveWindow.DisplayZeros = Not ActiveWindow.DisplayZeros End Sub
4: Show or Hide page-breaks in active sheet
This macro toggles the display of page-breaks on the active sheet.
Sub ShowHidePageBreaks() ' Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+J If TypeName(Selection) <> "Range" Then Exit Sub ActiveSheet.DisplayPageBreaks = Not ActiveSheet.DisplayPageBreaks End Sub
As the name suggests , this macro will show or hide the display of page breaks on the active sheet.
5: Display the 'GoTo special' xldialog
Quite often I find myself needing to use the GoTo Special command.
Of course, you can do it the way it was designed in Excel – press F5 to display the GoTo dialog box, and click on the Special… button. This takes one keystroke and a mouse-click; or 3 keystrokes (if you don’t use the mouse) 🙂
Or you can display the Goto > Special… dialog box (using a macro) with just 1 click of the mouse or 2 keystrokes (if you pin it on the QAT) !
Sub xlSelectSpecial() On Error GoTo NotFound If Selection.Cells.Count = 1 Then MsgBox "Select more than 1 cell...", vbExclamation, "Select more cells..." Exit Sub End If Application.Dialogs(xlDialogSelectSpecial).Show Exit Sub NotFound: myMsgText = "No such cells found" myTitle = "Not found" myConfig = vbOKOnly + vbExclamation myMessage = MsgBox(myMsgText, myConfig, myTitle) End Sub
As you will notice, the macro has an error-checking line in case the type of ‘special cell’ you selected is not found. E.g. if you’re looking for blank cells in the selection, and all the cells in it are non-blank, the macro will display a message accordingly.
The macro also checks whether more than one cell is selected before executing the dialog. The reason for this is that if a single cell is selected, many of the options in the GoTo Special dialog box will execute on the entire ‘UsedRange’ of the spreadsheet, instead of the selected range.
If you wish, you can comment out the If … End If construct and test the macro to see what I mean.
6: Zoom-in / Zoom-out
These macros zoom in or zoom out on the worksheet, in increments of 5%.
Sub MyZoomIn() ' Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+E Dim ZP As Integer ZP = ActiveWindow.Zoom If ZP >= 400 Then ZP = 400 Else ZP = ZP + 5 End If ActiveWindow.Zoom = ZP End Sub Sub MyZoomOut() ' Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+E Dim ZP As Integer ZP = ActiveWindow.Zoom If ZP <= 10 Then ZP = 10 Else ZP = ZP - 5 End If ActiveWindow.Zoom = ZP End Sub
As you will notice, will increase or decrease the zoom percentage by 5 points each time the macro is executed. The If… Then… Else… constructs are there to prevent an error if the current zoom percentage is already at the maximum or minimum level, when the macro is executed.
That’s all for this post from my side. I hope you will find it useful.
I welcome comments, suggestions for improvement & criticisms from readers on this topic, and the macros I have shared in this post.
[Secret transmission ended.]
Hey, thanks KV for sharing those shortcut-charged shortcuts. I look forward to torturing some more of that ill-gotten wisdom out of you. (While I don’t condone torture, I hate inefficient use of Excel even more. So while it’s going to hurt you more than me, it’s for the greater good.)
About the Author
His mild-mannered alter ego - Khushnood Viccaji - is a freelance professional and an expert in Management Information Systems and Business Applications with a focus on Data Management, Analytics, Transformation, Auditing, and Reporting.
Both these chaps have a flair for understanding and applying technology in business processes and an ability to present business information in many different ways. And one of them wears lycra.