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vba – Is there a way to see which filters are active in Excel, other than just the funnel icons?

Posted by: admin March 9, 2020 Leave a comment


This question is actually for the Excel GUI, rather than Excel “programming”, per se. However, if this is unavailable in the GUI, I would be curious if there’s a VBA solution (although, I have basically 0 VBA knowledge/experience).

Is there a way to see which filters are active in Excel, other than just by looking at the funnel icons? As shown in my attached screenshot, some spreadsheets can have columns that extend off the visible screen, so it can be easy to miss the funnel icon indicating an active filter. (Additionally, I think it can be pretty easy to overlook the icon, even amidst only a few columns.)

Example of columns going off the screen

Ideally, there would be some kind of list showing which columns/headers are actively filtered.


How to&Answers:

If you merely want a simple list of the columns where a filter is applied then the following VBA code may suffice:

Option Explicit

Function FilterCrit() As String

Dim i As Long
Dim ws As Worksheet
Dim Filter As String


Set ws = ThisWorkbook.Worksheets(1)

If Not ws.FilterMode Then
    FilterCrit = "not filtered"
    Exit Function
End If
For i = 1 To ws.AutoFilter.Filters.Count
    If ws.AutoFilter.Filters(i).On Then
        FilterCrit = FilterCrit & "Filter on column " & i & Chr(10)
    End If
Next i

End Function

This will iterate the columns and if a filter is applied on any of these columns then it will be listed.

By default all UDFs user defined functions are not volatile and therefore do not automatically recalculate. Yet, you can force them to automatically recalculate with Application.Volatile. But it is highly recommend not to use this option as it can severely slow down your Excel file. Alternative solutions are recommended here: Alternative to Application.Volatile to auto update UDF


This will work to highlight columns which contain active filter. This code just Bolds and sets the font color Red, but you can modify the style changes as per your need.

enter image description here

Sub test()
    Call markFilter(ActiveSheet)
End Sub

Sub markFilter(wks As Worksheet)

    Dim lFilCol As Long

    With wks
        If .AutoFilterMode Then
            For lFilCol = 1 To .AutoFilter.Filters.Count

                '/ If filter is applied then mark the header as bold and font color as red
                If .AutoFilter.Filters(lFilCol).On Then
                    .AutoFilter.Range.Columns(lFilCol).Cells(1, 1).Font.Color = vbRed
                    .AutoFilter.Range.Columns(lFilCol).Cells(1, 1).Font.Bold = True
                     '/ No Filter. Column header font normal and black.
                    .AutoFilter.Range.Columns(lFilCol).Cells(1, 1).Font.Color = vbBlack
                    .AutoFilter.Range.Columns(lFilCol).Cells(1, 1).Font.Bold = False
                End If
            '/ No Filter at all. Column header font normal and black.
            .UsedRange.Rows(1).Font.Color = vbBlack
            .UsedRange.Rows(1).Font.Bold = False
        End If
    End With
End Sub



Sub Active_Filter()
    Dim Sht As Worksheet
    Dim lngCount As Long
    Dim i As Long

    Set Sht = ActiveSheet

    If Sht.FilterMode Then
        lngCount = Sht.AutoFilter.Filters.Count

'       // Go through each column look for active Filter
        For i = 1 To lngCount Step 1
            If Sht.AutoFilter.Filters(i).On Then
                Debug.Print "Filter is set on " & Sht.Columns(i).Address
            End If
        Next i

    End If

End Sub