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How to set tab order of cells or unlocked cells in Excel?

Supposing you need to set the tab order for your own defined, for example, from cell B5 to C6, C6 to D7, D7 to E8, and then return to B5 when leaving cell E8 in a worksheet as below screenshot shown. How to achieve it? This article provides a VBA method for you.

Set tab order of cells or unlocked cells with VBA code

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arrow blue right bubbleSet tab order of cells or unlocked cells with VBA code

Please run the below VBA method to set tab order of cells in normal worksheet or unlocked cells in protected worksheet.

1. In the worksheet you need to set tab order, right click the sheet tab and click View Code from the context menu.

2. In the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window, copy and paste the below VBA code into the Code window.

VBA code: Set tab order of cells or unlocked cells

Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
    Dim tabArray As Variant
    Dim i As Long
    tabArray = Array("B5", "C6", "D7", "E8")
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    For i = LBound(tabArray) To UBound(tabArray)
        If tabArray(i) = Target.Address(0, 0) Then
            If i = UBound(tabArray) Then
                Me.Range(tabArray(i + 1)).Select
            End If
        End If
    Next i
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub


1) In the code, B5, C6, D7, E8 is the order of the input cells, and you must use the uppercase letter of the cell address. You can change them based on your needs.

2) For the protected worksheet, the input cells must be unlocked.

3. Press the Alt + Q keys to close the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

From now on, after inputting data in B5, the cursor goes to C6 with pressing the Tab or Enter key, then goes to D7 when leaving C6, and then moves to D7, E8 in current worksheet.

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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Dan Maycock · 6 months ago
    Hello, is there a way to just hit enter without entering anything and have it go to the next selection?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Collins Neptali Arráiz López · 9 months ago
    No me funcionó, lo coloqué en la hoja de trabajo, debe haber algún error, me podrían ayudar, necesito implementarlo en mi trabajo,


    Collins Neptali Arráiz López
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Jeanne · 10 months ago
    Thanks for the code on enter order. I am working on a spreadsheet entering barcode information and I need to span up to 300 cells and the program only lets me enter 142 cells. Is there a way to add more so I can get up to 300?

    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      crystal · 9 months ago
      Hi Jeanne,
      Thanks for your comment.
      But the code can’t be optimized to meet your needs. Sorry about that.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Evan · 1 years ago
    First select which cells you want to have unprotected.

    When you protect your sheet it will automatically set the tab order according to your unprotected cells. It will Tab forward from Left to Right, and Top to Bottom; Shift+Tab backward from Right To Left, and Bottom to Top.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Nat · 1 years ago
    With the order that you have listed them excel does without VBA code. Make them go backwards then you got something.