I don't seem to see the 'Use relative references' option on the mac version of Excel 2016. How can I record a macro in Excel Mac 2016 and choose between.
Excel’s default recording mode is absolute reference. When a cell reference in a formula is an absolute reference, it does not automatically adjust when the formula is pasted to a new location.
The best way to understand how this concept applies to macros is to try it out. Record a macro that counts the rows in a worksheet. (See the figure for an example.)
You can find the sample data set used here online.
Follow these steps to record the macro:
Make sure cell A1 is selected.
On the Developer tab, select Record Macro.
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Name the macro AddTotal.
Choose This Workbook for the save location.
Click OK to start recording.
At this point, Excel is recording your actions.
While Excel is recording, select cell A16 and type Total in the cell.
Select the first empty cell in Column D (D16) and type = COUNTA(D2:D15).
This formula gives a count of branch numbers at the bottom of column D. You use the COUNTA function because the branch numbers are stored as text.
Click Stop Recording on the Developer tab to stop recording the macro.
The formatted worksheet should look like something like the one shown here.
To see your macro in action, delete the Total row you just added and play back your macro by following these steps:
On the Developer tab, select Macros.
Find and select the AddTotal macro you just recorded.
Click the Run button.
If all goes well, the macro plays back your actions to a T and gives your table a total. Now here’s the thing. No matter how hard you try, you can’t make the AddTotal macro work on the second table. Why? Because you recorded it as an absolute macro.
To understand what this means, examine the underlying code by selecting Macros on the Developer tab. The Macro dialog box appears.
Select the AddTotal macro and click the Edit button. Visual Basic Editor opens and displays the code that was written when you recorded your macro:
Pay particular attention to the two lines of code that select range A16 and range D16. Because the macro was recorded in absolute reference mode, Excel interpreted your range selection as absolute cell references. In other words, no matter where your cursor is in your workbook, when you run the recorded macro, Excel will select cell A16 and then cell D16. In the next section, you take a look at what the same macro looks like when recorded in relative reference mode.
One of the most common ways of creating a macro is to use the macro recorder built into Excel. The recorder allows you to record your keystrokes and play them back again later. When you record your macros, Excel is very literal about recording what you do. For instance, if you start recording while cell B7 is selected, and then you press the Down Arrow key, cell B8 is now selected.
When you later select cell E12 and play back this macro, you might expect that the macro would move down one cell, to E13, as if you had pressed the Down Arrow key. Instead, when that line of the macro is executed, cell B8 is selected.
The reason this happens is that Excel memorized your absolute steps. It didn't record the press of the Down Arrow key, but instead recorded the movement to cell B8. This exemplifies the default condition of the macro recorder—to record all movements and cell references absolutely.
If you instead want your macros to be recorded relatively (so that the macro moves down one cell instead of moving to cell B8), then you need to instruct Excel to do so. You do this by clicking Use Relative References on the Developer tab of the ribbon. After clicking, all your subsequent actions are interpreted relative to the currently selected cell. Click the tool a second time, and you are back to subsequent actions being interpreted absolutely.
It is important that you remember to click the appropriate tool before you take an action that is recorded. The tool's state (on or off) affects only the recording of future actions, not what has been already recorded.