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How to remember or save previous cell value of a changed cell in Excel?

Normally, when updating a cell with new content, the previous value will be covered unless undo the operation in Excel. However, if you want to keep the previous value for comparing with the updated one, saving the previous value into another cell or into the cell comment will be a good choice. The method in this article will help you to achieve it.

Save previous cell value with VBA code in Excel

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Save previous cell value with VBA code in Excel

Supposing you have a table as below screenshot shown. If any cell in column C changed, you want to save its previous value into the corresponding cell of column G or save in comment automatically. Please do as follows to achieve it.

1. In the worksheet contains the value you will save when updating, right-click the sheet tab and select View Code from the right-clicking menu. See screenshot:

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

The following VBA code helps you saving previous cell value of specified column into another column.

VBA code: Save previous cell value into another column cell

Dim xRg As Range
Dim xChangeRg As Range
Dim xDependRg As Range
Dim xDic As New Dictionary
Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
    Dim I As Long
    Dim xCell As Range
    Dim xDCell As Range
    Dim xHeader As String
    Dim xCommText As String
    On Error Resume Next
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    Application.EnableEvents = False
    xHeader = "Previous value :"
    x = xDic.Keys
    For I = 0 To UBound(xDic.Keys)
        Set xCell = Range(xDic.Keys(I))
        Set xDCell = Cells(xCell.Row, 7)
        xDCell.Value = ""
        xDCell.Value = xDic.Items(I)
    Next
    Application.EnableEvents = True
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub
Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Range)
    Dim I, J As Long
    Dim xRgArea As Range
    On Error GoTo Label1
    If Target.Count > 1 Then Exit Sub
    Application.EnableEvents = False
    Set xDependRg = Target.Dependents
    If xDependRg Is Nothing Then GoTo Label1
    If Not xDependRg Is Nothing Then
        Set xDependRg = Intersect(xDependRg, Range("C:C"))
    End If
Label1:
    Set xRg = Intersect(Target, Range("C:C"))
    If (Not xRg Is Nothing) And (Not xDependRg Is Nothing) Then
        Set xChangeRg = Union(xRg, xDependRg)
    ElseIf (xRg Is Nothing) And (Not xDependRg Is Nothing) Then
        Set xChangeRg = xDependRg
    ElseIf (Not xRg Is Nothing) And (xDependRg Is Nothing) Then
        Set xChangeRg = xRg
    Else
        Application.EnableEvents = True
        Exit Sub
    End If
    xDic.RemoveAll
    For I = 1 To xChangeRg.Areas.Count
        Set xRgArea = xChangeRg.Areas(I)
        For J = 1 To xRgArea.Count
            xDic.Add xRgArea(J).Address, xRgArea(J).Formula
        Next
    Next
    Set xChangeRg = Nothing
    Set xRg = Nothing
    Set xDependRg = Nothing
    Application.EnableEvents = True
End Sub

For saving the previous cell value in a comment, please apply the below VBA code

VBA code: Save previous cell value in the comment

Dim xRg As Range
Dim xChangeRg As Range
Dim xDependRg As Range
Dim xDic As New Dictionary
Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
    Dim I As Long
    Dim xCell As Range
    Dim xHeader As String
    Dim xCommText As String
    On Error Resume Next
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    Application.EnableEvents = False
    xHeader = "Previous value :"
    For I = 0 To UBound(xDic.Keys)
        Set xCell = Range(xDic.Keys(I))
        If Not xCell.Comment Is Nothing Then xCell.Comment.Delete
        With xCell
            .AddComment
            .Comment.Visible = False
            .Comment.Text xHeader & vbCrLf & xDic.Items(I)
        End With
    Next
    Application.EnableEvents = True
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub
Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Range)
    Dim I, J As Long
    Dim xRgArea As Range
    On Error GoTo Label1
    If Target.Count > 1 Then Exit Sub
    Application.EnableEvents = False
    Set xDependRg = Target.Dependents
    If xDependRg Is Nothing Then GoTo Label1
    If Not xDependRg Is Nothing Then
        Set xDependRg = Intersect(xDependRg, Range("C:C"))
    End If
Label1:
    Set xRg = Intersect(Target, Range("C:C"))
    If (Not xRg Is Nothing) And (Not xDependRg Is Nothing) Then
        Set xChangeRg = Union(xRg, xDependRg)
    ElseIf (xRg Is Nothing) And (Not xDependRg Is Nothing) Then
        Set xChangeRg = xDependRg
    ElseIf (Not xRg Is Nothing) And (xDependRg Is Nothing) Then
        Set xChangeRg = xRg
    Else
        Application.EnableEvents = True
        Exit Sub
    End If
    xDic.RemoveAll
    For I = 1 To xChangeRg.Areas.Count
        Set xRgArea = xChangeRg.Areas(I)
        For J = 1 To xRgArea.Count
            xDic.Add xRgArea(J).Address, xRgArea(J).Text
        Next
    Next
    Set xChangeRg = Nothing
    Set xRg = Nothing
    Set xDependRg = Nothing
    Application.EnableEvents = True
End Sub

Note: In the code, number 7 indicates the column G you will save the previous cell into, and C:C is the column you will save the previous cell value. Please change them based on your needs.

3. Click Tools > References to open the Refereces – VBAProject dialog box, check the Microsoft Scripting Runtime box, and finally click the OK button. See screenshot:

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

From now on, when cell value in column C updated, the previous value of the cell will be saved into corresponding cells in column G, or save in comment as below screenshots showed.

Save previous value into another cell:

Save previous value in comment:


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Manuel Vargas · 20 days ago
    Hello, so modified the "VBA code: Save previous cell value into another column cell" code you made, however I have a couple of questions:

    1. How does the code know which column has the new values? (which after another update would have its values out in the other column)
    2. How can you make this into a Macro? Or make it run automatically when another program calls the xlsm. file?

    Thanks
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Age · 3 months ago
    Hi !

    Great function but how can it be modified to work also with a cell I want to memorize the value containing VLOOKUP ? Unfortunately I couldn't find what to modify to save the value from the VLOOKUP. As it is it doesn't work when VLOOKUP's are in the middle :(

    Thanks in advance for your help !
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    sahusantosh30@gmail.com · 6 months ago
    Why the above code is not working for DDE data, i have a data in a column which is changing through dde , but the moment i applied this code to save the previous value of that column into another column , its not doing anything ;

    Any help to achieve this is much appreciated .
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    OscarLopez · 1 years ago
    I was thinking about in a sentence "If/else" but I´m new using VBA, so if you have another post that could me help me, please share with me, and again thank you ! keep sharing the knowledge
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    OscarLopez · 1 years ago
    Hi ! I just wanted to know if it is possible register multiples changes to the cell, I mean, if I put data in the cell C2 and then I change that data for other information, the previous data pass to the cell G2 (like in this post), but If I change the value one more time in cell C2, the second change that I made pass to the cell H2 (for example) and now I registered the information of the 3 movements that I realized, and do it almost 5 times more (save the previous cell value 5 times). If you could help me I would appreciate so much because here in your post it´s the only place that I found where solve my problem partialy. Thanks for sharing this content!!!!

  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    gustavo@apelidos.com.br · 1 years ago
    i need something like this, but only in specific cells (ex.: G12 to show in H23 the old value)
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      gustavo@apelidos.com.br · 1 years ago
      And other ... I need this run when a cell change by a result (EX.: A1 + B1 = C1... if I change A or B value, the script does not work - nothing happens in G cell)

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