How to Avoid Using Select in Excel VBA

Understanding the Problem

If you've been working with Excel VBA, you might have heard about the negative impact of using the Select function. Although it might seem convenient at first, using .Select can lead to slow and inefficient code. In this article, we will explore how to avoid using Select in Excel VBA and how to write more efficient and reusable code.

Why Avoid Using Select?

Using the Select function in Excel VBA refers to selecting a range or a cell before performing any actions on it. While this might seem straightforward, it can have a significant impact on performance, especially when working with large datasets or complex macros. Here are a few reasons why avoiding Select is recommended:

  • Slows down code execution: Selecting a range or cell adds unnecessary steps and slows down the execution of your code.
  • Increases memory usage: When you select a range, Excel stores that information in memory, which can lead to increased memory usage.
  • Makes code harder to read and maintain: Using Select can make your code harder to read and debug, especially when it involves multiple selections and actions.
  • Lessens code reusability: Code that relies heavily on Select functions often lacks flexibility and reusability, making it harder to adapt for different scenarios.

Alternatives to Using Select

Thankfully, there are several alternatives to using Select in Excel VBA, which allow you to write more efficient and maintainable code. Let's explore a few examples:

Selecting a Range

To avoid using Select when working with ranges, you can directly reference the range in your code. Here's an example:

Sub SelectExample()
    Dim rng As Range
    Set rng = Worksheets("Sheet1").Range("A1:B10")
    ' Instead of:
    ' Do something with the selected range
    ' You can directly perform actions on the range:
    rng.Value = "New Value"
End Sub

In this example, we avoid using Select by directly assigning the range "A1:B10" to the variable rng. We can then perform desired actions on the range without the need for Select. This approach is not only faster but also makes the code easier to understand and maintain.

Manipulating Cells

When working with cells, you can reference them directly without needing to select them. Consider the following example:

Sub CellExample()
    Dim cell As Range
    Set cell = Worksheets("Sheet1").Range("A1")
    ' Instead of:
    ' Do something with the selected cell
    ' You can directly perform actions on the cell:
    cell.Value = "New Value"
End Sub

Here, we again avoid using Select by directly assigning the cell "A1" to the variable cell. By working directly with the cell, we improve code efficiency and readability.

Referencing the ActiveCell

One common situation where Select is often used is when referencing the ActiveCell. However, it is possible to avoid Select and work directly with the ActiveCell. Here's an example:

Sub ActiveCellExample()
    ' Instead of:
    ' Do something with the selected cell
    ' You can directly perform actions on the ActiveCell:
    ActiveCell.Value = "New Value"
End Sub

In this case, we exclude the use of Select by referencing the ActiveCell directly. This eliminates unnecessary steps and improves code efficiency.


By avoiding the use of Select in Excel VBA, you can achieve faster, more efficient, and maintainable code. Instead of selecting ranges or cells, you can directly reference them in your code. This approach not only improves performance but also makes your code easier to read, understand, and modify. Remember, the key to writing efficient VBA code is to minimize unnecessary steps, and avoiding Select is a great way to achieve that.