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How to write to multiple cells from a single function call

  1. #1
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    Question How to write to multiple cells from a single function call

    Currently my UDF WName()outputs a result in each spreadsheet cell that it was called from.

    Now I am focused on developing the last few lines in order to output a second variable ("MinDist") four cells to the right of each UDF call in the spreadsheet.
    I'm trying to do this via ActiveCell.Offset., but not getting the result I need. Here's a snipit:
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    Full spreadsheet and VBA code attached.

    Note that for debugging, I'm just looking now at sheet "A", cell "A14"

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks!
    g
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    Forum Guru Norie's Avatar
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    You can't use a UDF to alter, eg put values in, cells on a worksheet.
    If posting code please use code tags, see here.

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    Forum Guru JosephP's Avatar
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    Re: How to write to multiple cells from a single function call

    a function can only return a value to its own cell*. you can have your function return an array and then use index to retrieve whichever value you want or array enter the function call into multiple cells

    *there are ways around this but you should not use them!
    Josie

    if at first you don't succeed try doing it the way your wife told you to

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    Re: How to write to multiple cells from a single function call

    Correct, that sort of thing is something that a UDF cannot do.

    In order to return multiple values into multiple cells, you will need to code your UDF to be an array function (Similar to LINEST, FREQUENCY, TRANSPOSE). When I do it, this looks something like:

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    called from two adjacent cells as =myarrayfunction(arg1,arg2,...) and entered as an array function (ctrl-shift-enter). If you need to review how to enter array functions, you can call up the help files for any of the built in array function I've mentioned and there should be some discussion on how to enter array functions.

    One problem with the problem as you've presented it is that the cells you want to return to are not adjacent. An array function like this will usually be expected to return the results to adjacent cell.

    If result2 must be returned 4 cells over from result1, you can use the INDEX() function to return each result individually
    =INDEX(myarrayfunction(arg1,...),1) and =INDEX(myarrayfunction(arg1,...),2). However, this means two function calls instead of one. If I remember from your other thread, you want to call this function thousands of times already, doubling the number of function calls could increase computation time. I think you will be better off if you can structure your spreadsheet so that the results of the array function are returned to adjacent cells. If you really need to separate the results, you can have the UDF return in an out of the way place on the spreadsheet, then link those results to the desired output cells.
    Last edited by MrShorty; 08-14-2013 at 10:48 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by shg
    Mathematics is the native language of the natural world. Just trying to become literate.

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    Re: How to write to multiple cells from a single function call

    Sage advice all around. Thanks especially to Mr. Shorty for the detailed explanation/suggestion.
    I elected to go for the 2x computation time. It'll get the job done and give me time to go get a cup of coffee.

    Updated final code attached.

    SOLVED.

    Cheers to Excel Forum for leading me by the hand through my first VBA code. This website is a great resource.
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