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VBA To Check If Selected Cells Are Empty

By Chris Newman •  Updated: 03/25/16 •  5 min read
VBA To Check If Selected Cells Are Empty

What This VBA Code Does

Back in my early days of teaching myself how to write VBA, I found myself from time to time accidentally running macros I had created and completely destroying my worksheets! I soon came to realize that it is nice to incorporate "fail-safes" when these accidents occur.

What this small snippet of VBA code will do, is analyze the cells the main macro will be affecting and let the user know if the macro will be overriding any current data. This allows the user to abort before any unintentional damage is done.

Sub IsSelectionEmpty()
'PURPOSE: Warn user that the macro will be overwriting spreadsheet data
'SOURCE: www.TheSpreadsheetGuru.com/the-code-vault

Dim myAnswer As Variant
Dim rng As Range

'Macro will affect only cells that are currently selected
  Set rng = Selection

'Test if range is empty
  If WorksheetFunction.CountA(rng) <> 0 Then
    'Ask for permission to override data
      myAnswer = MsgBox("Do you want to override the data " & _
       "in your selection?", vbYesNo, "Data Found!")
    
    'Abort if directed to by user
      If myAnswer <> vbYes Then Exit Sub
    
  End If

'Insert Rest of Your Code Here....

End Sub

Handling Cells Outside Selection

Sometimes your code may be modifying cells outside the current selection. For example, your macro code might add a formula to the left of each row summing up the numbers stored with the selected cells. In cases like this, you will need to slightly modify the selection range the VBA code is testing. You can do with this either the Offset or Resize functions (or a combination of both).

Below is an example of a macro that is going to end up modifying the first selected cell (aka ActiveCell) and the next 11 cells to the right of it. The Resize function is used to morph the test range (aka "rng")  into the proper size and position.

Sub IsSelectionEmpty()
'PURPOSE: Warn user that the macro will be overwriting spreadsheet data
'SOURCE: www.TheSpreadsheetGuru.com/the-code-vault

Dim myAnswer As Variant
Dim rng As Range

'Macro will affect next 12 cells to the right
  Set rng = ActiveCell.Resize(1, 12)

'Test if range is empty
  If WorksheetFunction.CountA(rng) <> 0 Then
    'Ask for permission to override data
      myAnswer = MsgBox("Do you want to override the data " & _
       "in your selection?", vbYesNo, "Data Found!")
    
    'Abort if directed to by user
      If myAnswer <> vbYes Then Exit Sub
    
  End If

'Insert Rest of Your Code Here....

End Sub

Using VBA Code Found On The Internet

Now that you’ve found some VBA code that could potentially solve your Excel automation problem, what do you do with it? If you don’t necessarily want to learn how to code VBA and are just looking for the fastest way to implement this code into your spreadsheet, I wrote an article (with video) that explains how to get the VBA code you’ve found running on your spreadsheet.

Getting Started Automating Excel

Are you new to VBA and not sure where to begin? Check out my quickstart guide to learning VBA. This article won’t overwhelm you with fancy coding jargon, as it provides you with a simplistic and straightforward approach to the basic things I wish I knew when trying to teach myself how to automate tasks in Excel with VBA Macros.

Also, if you haven’t checked out Excel’s latest automation feature called Power Query, I have put together a beginner’s guide for automating with Excel’s Power Query feature as well! This little-known built-in Excel feature allows you to merge and clean data automatically with little to no coding!

How Do I Modify This To Fit My Specific Needs?

Chances are this post did not give you the exact answer you were looking for. We all have different situations and it's impossible to account for every particular need one might have. That's why I want to share with you: My Guide to Getting the Solution to your Problems FAST! In this article, I explain the best strategies I have come up with over the years to get quick answers to complex problems in Excel, PowerPoint, VBA, you name it

I highly recommend that you check this guide out before asking me or anyone else in the comments section to solve your specific problem. I can guarantee that 9 times out of 10, one of my strategies will get you the answer(s) you are needing faster than it will take me to get back to you with a possible solution. I try my best to help everyone out, but sometimes I don't have time to fit everyone's questions in (there never seem to be quite enough hours in the day!).

I wish you the best of luck and I hope this tutorial gets you heading in the right direction!

Keep Learning

Chris Newman

Chris Newman

Chris is a finance professional and Excel MVP recognized by Microsoft since 2016. With his expertise, he founded TheSpreadsheetGuru blog to help fellow Excel users, where he shares his vast creative solutions & expertise. In addition, he has developed over 7 widely-used Excel Add-ins that have been embraced by individuals and companies worldwide.