Category Archives: VBA

#Excel: Most Frequent Item in a List of Delimited Strings


rng is a defined name range on the worksheet with each cell containing delimited strings. Although it does not necessarily have to be a 1-column list, most examples of delimited strings in a range are of this type. To convert this range to an array, use the following formula.

Define arr as =ArrayFromCDS(TEXTJOIN(“,”,,rng))

where the VBA UDF is shown below.

Function ArrayFromCDS(MyString As String)

ArrayFromCDS = Split(MyString, “,”)

End Function

So, arr is a 1-D array of all of the delimited values from each cell of the range. Then, use this formula


to return the most frequent item.


#Excel Short and Sweet Tip #29: Inserting Icons Using a User-Defined Function

Disclaimer: You need the Excel version included in Office 365 for this technique to work.

The insertion of icons in Excel 2016 is accomplished from the ribbon by selecting Insert, Icons. There are a number of catagories to select from, as shown in ths figure.


However, recently I have been interested (obsessed?) with worksheet UDFs and their ability to invoke actions or shapes. In this case, I wanted to see if a UDF would insert an icon into the worksheet. This is the VBA function I made with help of the macro recorder. Place this in a general module in your worksheet.

Function MakeIcon(fName As String)

iString =        “

fileName=” & fName & “.svg”

ActiveSheet.Pictures.Insert iString

End Function

Now, enter the formula =MakeIcon(“Man”) in cell A1 and you will get the following result.


Unfortunately, there are several inherent Excel limitations that prevent the full utilization of this function. First, you have to know the correct name of the icon to produce it. It would be nice if Microsoft provided a list of the icon names, but I could not locate one. Then, I tried to get names by macro recording the insertion of multiple icons, but only the “last” selected icon URL is recorded. Even so, I hope that this technique is useful to you.

The example file can be downloaded here.


Generating a “Realtime” Voice Alert for the Latest Magnitude 5 or Greater Earthquake


I recently published an article about getting information on the latest earthquake of magnitude 5 or greater.

Please read this article to see how the core model was constructed.

One problem with this model is that since Excel’s web functions are non-volatile, a formula containing those functions must be recalculated by reentering the formula. I decided that an easier way was needed to trigger an update. I also recently published an article which utilized the hyperlink rollover technique.

I figured that this might be a good way to trigger a recalculation. And, since I was going to use a VBA function to be called from the hyperlink formula, I thought that adding audio functionality would be useful as well. Here is the hyperlink rollover formula used (in cell D5, named Recalculate). Since a rollover is required, the technique is not truly realtime.


And, here is the VBA function called by “rolling over” (passing the cursor over) that cell.

Function EarthQuakeAlert(Optional Person As String = “Him”, _

Optional Rate As Long = 1, Optional Volume As Long = 80)

Static xlApp As New Excel.Application

Dim Voc As SpeechLib.SpVoice

Set Voc = New SpVoice

Dim sAddress As String

‘Application.Volatile True


If Range(“d1”).Value = Range(“b3”).Value Then

MsgBox “No new earthquake > 5.0”


With Voc

If Person = “Him” Then

Set .voice = .GetVoices.Item(0) ‘male

ElseIf Person = “Her” Then

Set .voice = .GetVoices.Item(1) ‘female


End If

.Rate = Rate

.Volume = Volume

.Speak “New Earthquake Alert! ” & Range(“b5”).Value

End With

Range(“d1”).Value = Range(“b3”).Value

End If

EarthQuakeAlert = “Recalculate”

Set xlApp = Nothing

End Function

In order to use SpeechLib.SpVoice in the code, the correct reference (from Tools, References) must be added to the VBE as shown in the following figure.


In this figure is a picture of the earthquake model.


I hope that you find this useful. You can download the file here.


Adding Multiple DAX Measures to Non-PowerPivot Versions of #Excel using an User-Defined VBA Function



In this article,

Jeff Weir pointed to a video made by Mike Girvin about adding measures to non-PowerPivot versions of Excel (link below)

Mike demonstrated how measures can be added to a data model in these “disabled” version through pivot table options. Please view this video to see how Mike did it.

The link to the working file for this video will be referred to in this article (Thanks, Mike!).

You can download this file and reproduce the technique presented here.

Although it is not well-known, Microsoft started at Excel version 2016 (Office 365) marketing versions that do not have PowerPivot capability. For details on this, see:

So, this article is dedicated to those who purchased non-PowerPivot versions of Excel 2016, although the technique presented here will work on any version of Excel 2013 or greater.

Jeff Weir mentioned in his article that since some Excel 2016 versions did not have the full-blown PowerPivot capability, and that VBA could be used to build a user interface to the data model. Well, I have not created a UI, but I have made a way to add multiple measures to the data model using an user-defined function. The code for the VBA function is shown below. To use this, add astandard module in the VBE and then save the workbook as .xlsm. Then, copy/paste the code into the module.


Function AddMeasure(TableName As String, MeasureName As Range)

Application.Volatile False

With ActiveWorkbook.Model

For Each mCell In MeasureName

mFormat = mCell.Offset(0, 2).Value

.ModelMeasures.Add mCell.Value, .ModelTables(TableName), mCell.Offset(0, 1).Value, _

Switch(mFormat = “Boolean”, .ModelFormatBoolean, mFormat = “Currency”, .ModelFormatCurrency, _

mFormat = “Date”, .ModelFormatDate, mFormat = “DecimalNumber”, .ModelFormatDecimalNumber, _

mFormat = “General”, .ModelFormatGeneral, mFormat = “PercentageNumber”, .ModelFormatPercentageNumber, _

mFormat = “ScientificNumber”, .ModelFormatScientificNumber, mFormat = “WholeNumber”, .ModelFormatWholeNumber), _



End With

AddMeasure = “DONE”

End Function

Then, place the following information in the range D10:F14.


NetRevenue SUMX(fTransactions,ROUND(RELATED(dProducts[Price])*fTransactions[Units]*(1-fTransactions[Discount]),2)) DecimalNumber
MaxRevenue MAXX(fTransactions,ROUND(RELATED(dProducts[Price])*fTransactions[Units]*(1-fTransactions[Discount]),2)) PercentageNumber
MinRevenue MINX(fTransactions,ROUND(RELATED(dProducts[Price])*fTransactions[Units]*(1-fTransactions[Discount]),2)) Currency
AverageRevenue AVERAGEX(fTransactions,ROUND(RELATED(dProducts[Price])*fTransactions[Units]*(1-fTransactions[Discount]),2)) General
CountOfRevenue COUNTAX(fTransactions,ROUND(RELATED(dProducts[Price])*fTransactions[Units]*(1-fTransactions[Discount]),2)) General


To run this as a worksheet formula, type this formula in any cell.


This will add the 5 measures to the data model, as shown in the Pivot Table Fields list.


After the 5 measures are added to the pivot table, the resulting pivot table will look like this.


Of course, the DAX formulas to be added have to return valid results, or the procedure will fail.

This powerful technique is yet another reason why users should not completely abandon Excel for Power BI desktop, as discussed in this article at

And, this technique does not HAVE to be run from a UDF, but I am still amazed that it can. I am sure that you will find this very useful.

#Excel Impossibly Easy #2: Change Sheet Tab Color with a User-Defined Worksheet Formula

What if I told you that I wanted to change tab colors on sheets in a workbook by entering a formula (UDF) on a worksheet. Impossible, right? No, it turns out that it is “easy”.

This simple UDF (code shown below) can be entered on a worksheet and the desired worksheet tab will change to any color you want.

Function ChangeTabColor(sht As String, RED_Color As Integer, GREEN_Color As Integer, BLUE_Color As Integer)

With ActiveWorkbook.Sheets(sht).Tab

.Color = RGB(RED_Color, GREEN_Color, BLUE_Color)

End With

End Function

For example, entering this formula in a cell will turn the tab on Sheet1 red.


This figure shows the result in the example workbook of entering two cells. Note that the UDF does not have to be entered on the worksheet whose tab color is changed.


I have added a worksheet that has a list of colors along with their respective RGB codes for your convenience. I am sure that you will come up with many novel ways to use this technique.

The example file can be downloaded here.


#Excel Impossibly Easy #1: Return a 1D Array from Non-Contiguous Native 3D Ranges


What if I told you that I had 2 non-contiguous 3D ranges in an Excel workbook and I wanted to return a single 1D array from those ranges. Impossible, right? No, it turns out that it is “easy”.

Prior to the introduction of the TEXTJOIN function, this would likely have been impossible. But, this function accepts native 3D ranges as range arguments. See:

It would have been nice if the technique was only a VBA solution, but although Textjoin is a VBA worksheet function in Excel, VBA will not accept a native 3D range as an argument. Likewise, a pure Excel formula solution would have been nice, and a method dows exist to do this

but it has severe limitations which prevents its use with a relatively large number of cells (maybe 150). The total number of characters that a cell can contain is 32,767 characters. This solution assumes that an average of 6 characters per cell plus a comma for each gives an approximate number of 4500 cells allowed.

Here is the solution.


It consists of the TEXTJOIN worksheet function with 2 non-contiguous 3D ranges arguments


And a simple VBA function which converts a comma delimited string into a 1D array.

Function ArrayFromCDS(MyString As String)

ArrayFromCDS = Split(MyString, “,”)

End Function

In the example file, the array produced contains all of the elements of the two 3D ranges (shown below).


The figure shows this formula in cell I2.


I hope that you will find this useful.

The example file can be downloaded here.