An Even More Better AutoFilter

You knew I wasn’t going to let this go, didn’t you?

I started with snb’s rewrite. I really don’t want to use the SelectionChange event. It runs whenever you move around the spreadsheet and that’s just wasteful. I like how snb did the heavy lifting on SheetActivate, then only burns processors when you change a cell. I probably still need some error checking (and by probably I mean definitely) but here’s what I have so far.

Why do I always create my event class and then set the App property equal to the Excel.Application? Why not just do that in the class Initialize event? Stay tuned.

I got rid of the OldValue property as I’m using snb’s method. I added a constant delimeter that I’ll never use in a table header. Then I set my application right in the Initialize event, which I should have been doing all along. Finally, I need to load up the AlternativeText for any sheets just in case it’s not done yet.

This is right out of snb’s code. Join the header into a big string separated by double pipe, then stick it in the AlternativeText property for safe keeping.

First I make sure that the cell being changed is in the header of a ListObject (Excel Table in UI speak). This will disastrously fail (I assume) if you change two cells at once.

Next I added some code that will allow me to actually change the header if I want to. If I precede the entry by two spaces, the code will assume I want to change the header and not filter. Then it removes the two spaces and changes the header without filtering. If I type

in the Date field, it will change the header to MyDate and not filter.

Joe commented that you could separate values with a comma to filter on more than on thing. Good idea. I like spaces better, so instead of filtering on Target.Value, I pass the AutoFilter method an array and use xlFilterValues. The Split function produces an array by splitting a String on space.

When I made this change to the AutoFilter method, I ran into my old friend double-event-trigger-for-damn-reason. I beat that problem over the head by checking if the search term was the same as the header – a characteristic of the second bullshit trigger. This introduces a bug when you want to filter the State field on the word “State”. Nothing will happen. I don’t care. I’m done with that problem.

It’s working awesomely and I’m about ready to put it in the PMW to give some real-life test.

One more thing. If you want to filter on partial names you have to include an asterisk. Entering

will give you Colorado and Alaska (from my Sample data – Alabama didn’t make the cut, I guess). If you type

, you’ll get Ohio, New Hampshire, and Washington.

OK, really the last thing. If you want to filter on dates by typing multiple dates, you have to type the full year.

You can download BetterAutoFilter.zip

4 thoughts on “An Even More Better AutoFilter

  1. How ’bout an easy way to clear the filter, using Delete or something? I know you can use Alt + Down Arrow then C, but I really think you should stop at nothing until you have an even more better even more better Autofilter.

  2. Good idea.

  3. Be wary of the Application.EnableEvents – I believe that it is not reset if an error occurs – which can have unexpected results later on – so make sure the error handling forces it back on. And it is good practice to keep the enable/disable as close as possible to the line of code that you want to protect – which I think is just the Target.value = sHeader – that way unexpected errors will not accidentally leave it off

    –Charlie

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