# Excel VBA Formulas – The Ultimate Guide

In this Article

*This tutorial will teach you how to create cell formulas using VBA.*

## Formulas in VBA

Using VBA, you can write formulas directly to Ranges or Cells in Excel. It looks like this:

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Sub Formula_Example() 'Assign a hard-coded formula to a single cell Range("b3").Formula = "=b1+b2" 'Assign a flexible formula to a range of cells Range("d1:d100").FormulaR1C1 = "=RC2+RC3" End Sub |

There are two Range properties you will need to know:

**.Formula**– Creates an exact formula (hard-coded cell references).*Good for adding a formula to a single cell.***.FormulaR1C1**– Creates a flexible formula.*Good for adding formulas to a range of cells where cell references should change.*

For simple formulas, it’s fine to use the .Formula Property. However, for everything else, we recommend using the **Macro Recorder**…

## Macro Recorder and Cell Formulas

**The Macro Recorder is our go-to tool for writing cell formulas with VBA.** You can simply:

- Start recording
- Type the formula (with relative / absolute references as needed) into the cell & press enter
- Stop recording
- Open VBA and review the formula, adapting as needed and copying+pasting the code where needed.

I find it’s **much easier** to enter a formula into a cell than to type the corresponding formula in VBA.

Notice a couple of things:

- The Macro Recorder will always use the .FormulaR1C1 property
- The Macro Recorder recognizes Absolute vs. Relative Cell References

## VBA FormulaR1C1 Property

The FormulaR1C1 property uses R1C1-style cell referencing (as opposed to the standard A1-style you are accustomed to seeing in Excel).

Here are some examples:

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Sub FormulaR1C1_Examples() 'Reference D5 (Absolute) '=$D$5 Range("a1").FormulaR1C1 = "=R5C4" 'Reference D5 (Relative) from cell A1 '=D5 Range("a1").FormulaR1C1 = "=R[4]C[3]" 'Reference D5 (Absolute Row, Relative Column) from cell A1 '=D$5 Range("a1").FormulaR1C1 = "=R5C[3]" 'Reference D5 (Relative Row, Absolute Column) from cell A1 '=$D5 Range("a1").FormulaR1C1 = "=R[4]C4" End Sub |

Notice that the R1C1-style cell referencing allows you to set absolute or relative references.

### Absolute References

In standard A1 notation an absolute reference looks like this: “=$C$2”. In R1C1 notation it looks like this: “=R2C3”.

To create an Absolute cell reference using R1C1-style type:

- R + Row number
- C + Column number

Example: R2C3 would represent cell $C$2 (C is the 3rd column).

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'Reference D5 (Absolute) '=$D$5 Range("a1").FormulaR1C1 = "=R5C4" |

### Relative References

Relative cell references are cell references that “move” when the formula is moved.

In standard A1 notation they look like this: “=C2”. In R1C1 notation, you use brackets [] to offset the cell reference from the current cell.

Example: Entering formula “=R[1]C[1]” in cell B3 would reference cell D4 (the cell 1 row below and 1 column to the right of the formula cell).

Use negative numbers to reference cells above or to the left of the current cell.

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'Reference D5 (Relative) from cell A1 '=D5 Range("a1").FormulaR1C1 = "=R[4]C[3]" |

### Mixed References

Cell references can be partially relative and partially absolute. Example:

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'Reference D5 (Relative Row, Absolute Column) from cell A1 '=$D5 Range("a1").FormulaR1C1 = "=R[4]C4" |

## VBA Formula Property

When setting formulas with the .**Formula Property** you will always use A1-style notation. You enter the formula just like you would in an Excel cell, except surrounded by quotations:

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'Assign a hard-coded formula to a single cell Range("b3").Formula = "=b1+b2" |

## VBA Formula Tips

### Formula With Variable

When working with Formulas in VBA, it’s very common to want to use variables within the cell formulas. To use variables, you use & to combine the variables with the rest of the formula string. Example:

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Sub Formula_Variable() Dim colNum As Long colNum = 4 Range("a1").FormulaR1C1 = "=R1C" & colNum & "+R2C" & colNum End Sub |

### Formula Quotations

If you need to add a quotation (“) within a formula, enter the quotation twice (“”):

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Sub Macro2() Range("B3").FormulaR1C1 = "=TEXT(RC[-1],""mm/dd/yyyy"")" End Sub |

A single quotation (“) signifies to VBA the end of a string of text. Whereas a double quotation (“”) is treated like a quotation within the string of text.

Similarly, use 3 quotation marks (“””) to surround a string with a quotation mark (“)

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MsgBox """Use 3 to surround a string with quotes""" ' This will print <"Use 3 to surround a string with quotes"> immediate window |

### Assign Cell Formula to String Variable

We can read the formula in a given cell or range and assign it to a string variable:

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'Assign Cell Formula to Variable Dim strFormula as String strFormula = Range("B1").Formula |

### Different Ways to Add Formulas to a Cell

Here are a few more examples for how to assign a formula to a cell:

- Directly Assign Formula
- Define a String Variable Containing the Formula
- Use Variables to Create Formula

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Sub MoreFormulaExamples () ' Alternate ways to add SUM formula ' to cell B1 ' Dim strFormula as String Dim cell as Range dim fromRow as Range, toRow as Range Set cell = Range("B1") ' Directly assigning a String cell.Formula = "=SUM(A1:A10)" ' Storing string to a variable ' and assigning to "Formula" property strFormula = "=SUM(A1:A10)" cell.Formula = strFormula ' Using variables to build a string ' and assigning it to "Formula" property fromRow = 1 toRow = 10 strFormula = "=SUM(A" & fromValue & ":A" & toValue & ") cell.Formula = strFormula End Sub |

### Refresh Formulas

As a reminder, to refresh formulas, you can use the Calculate command:

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Calculate |

To refresh single formula, range, or entire worksheet use .Calculate instead:

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Sheets("Sheet1").Range("a1:a10").Calculate |