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Highlight the active row and column in an Excel worksheet

Highlight the active row and column in an Excel worksheet

Ever lose track of where you are in a worksheet?

It's a common problem when navigating large datasets. You're flicking between cells, switching applications, and your eyes are darting between places.

You're handling sensitive data and want to be sure you're focusing on the correct record, but the further away you get from the row and column headers β€” the worse it gets.

You wish there were a better solution than meticulously sliding your index finger across the screen.

Unfortunately, Excel doesn't have a built-in feature for this, but there is a workaround.

Do the following:

1. Select a range.
2. Go to Home > Conditional Formatting > New Rule.
3. Select 'Use a formula to determine which cells to format'.
4. Input =π™Ύπš(𝙲𝙴𝙻𝙻("πšŒπš˜πš•")=π™²π™Ύπ™»πš„π™Όπ™½(),𝙲𝙴𝙻𝙻("πš›πš˜πš ")=πšπ™Ύπš†()).
5. Select Format and choose a fill colour.
6. Select OK twice.

You can now highlight the active row and column of the cell you're in by pressing F9 to recalculate the workbook. The upside of this method is there's no VBA. The downside is it isn't automatic.

However, adding some VBA code allows you to create an event that automatically performs this recalculation:

1. Press Alt + F11 to open the VBA Editor.
2. Open the relevant sheet object.
3. Input the code:

π™Ώπš›πš’πšŸπšŠπšπšŽ πš‚πšžπš‹ πš†πš˜πš›πš”πšœπš‘πšŽπšŽπš_πš‚πšŽπš•πšŽπšŒπšπš’πš˜πš—π™²πš‘πšŠπš—πšπšŽ(π™±πš’πš…πšŠπš• πšƒπšŠπš›πšπšŽπš π™°πšœ πšπšŠπš—πšπšŽ)
π™Έπš π™°πš™πš™πš•πš’πšŒπšŠπšπš’πš˜πš—.π™²πšžπšπ™²πš˜πš™πš’π™Όπš˜πšπšŽ = π™΅πšŠπš•πšœπšŽ πšƒπš‘πšŽπš—
π™΄πš—πš π™Έπš
π™΄πš—πš πš‚πšžπš‹

The active row and column now highlight automatically as you navigate the worksheet range.

About the Author

Andrew is a technical writer who specialises in Microsoft Excel and data analysis. He has published hundreds of articles and social media posts aimed at helping people enhance their skills and spreading good practices.

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