Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Filling Table Cells with a Macro.

Filling Table Cells with a Macro

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 27, 2014)

As you are working with tables in Word, you may want to fill the various cells in a table with a set value. For instance, you might want to copy something to the Clipboard, and then paste the contents of the Clipboard to each cell in a table. The following macro will do the trick:

Sub PasteToCells()
    Dim TargetRange As Range
    Dim oTargCell As Cell

    If Selection.Cells.Count = 0 Then
        'Quit if no cells in selection
        MsgBox "No cells selected", vbCritical
        Exit Sub
    End If
    On Error Resume Next
    Set TargetRange = Selection.Range
    For Each oTargCell In Selection.Cells
        oTargCell.Range.Paste
    Next oTargCell
    TargetRange.Select
End Sub

The macro starts by checking to make sure that the selection includes some cells. If not, then the user is informed and the macro is ended. Then the selection is stored in a variable so that it can be selected (again) at the end of the macro. Without this code, the macro would leave the insertion point collapsed in the first cell of the original selection.

The real meat of the macro is in the For ... Next loop. It steps through the cells in the selection and replaces whatever is there with the contents of the Clipboard. Finally, the original selection is again selected, and the macro ends.

You probably noticed that there is an On Error statement in the macro, as well. This statement basically tells Word to ignore any errors and continue with the next statement. Errors that could be triggered include running the macro with nothing in the Clipboard or trying to paste a table within a table cell. Word won't do either task, but it will continue trying until it is done with all the cells in the selection.

You should note that this macro replaces whatever is in the selected cells with the contents of the Clipboard; whatever was previously in the cells is lost. If you want to instead add information to the beginning of the cells, without disturbing the existing contents of the cell, you could use this slightly modified macro:

Sub PasteToCellsStart()
    Dim TargetRange As Range
    Dim oTargCell As Cell
    Dim PasteRange As Range

    If Selection.Cells.Count = 0 Then
        'Quit if no cells in selection
        MsgBox "No cells selected", vbCritical
        Exit Sub
    End If
    On Error Resume Next
    Set TargetRange = Selection.Range
    For Each oTargCell In Selection.Cells
        Set PasteRange = oTargCell.Range
        PasteRange.Collapse wdCollapseStart
        PasteRange.Paste
    Next oTargCell
    TargetRange.Select
End Sub

One last modification would be to come up with a macro that would paste to the end of what is in the cells. You might think that you could replace wdCollapseStart with wdCollapseEnd in the foregoing macro, but that doesn't work properly within tables. Instead, you must replace the For ... Next loop in the above macro. The following example shows a changed version of the macro.

Sub PasteToCellsEnd()
    Dim TargetRange As Range
    Dim oTargCell As Cell
    Dim PasteRange As Range

    If Selection.Cells.Count = 0 Then
        'Quit if no cells in selection
        MsgBox "No cells selected", vbCritical
        Exit Sub
    End If
    On Error Resume Next
    Set TargetRange = Selection.Range
    For Each oTargCell In Selection.Cells
        Set PasteRange = oTargCell.Range.Characters.Last
        PasteRange.Collapse wdCollapseStart
        PasteRange.Paste
    Next oTargCell
    TargetRange.Select
End Sub

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1508) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Filling Table Cells with a Macro.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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