excel-vba autofilter ; Uses and best practices


Autofilter ultimate goal is to provide in the quickest way possible data mining from hundreds or thousands of rows data in order to get the attention in the items we want to focus on. It can receive parameters such as "text/values/colors" and they can be stacked among columns. You may connect up to 2 criteria per column based in logical connectors and sets of rules. Remark: Autofilter works by filtering rows, there is no Autofilter to filter columns (at least not natively).


'To use Autofilter within VBA we need to call with at least the following parameters:

Sheet("MySheet").Range("MyRange").Autofilter Field=(ColumnNumberWithin"MyRange"ToBeFilteredInNumericValue) Criteria1:= "WhatIWantToFilter"

'There are plenty of examples either on the web or here at stackoverflow


Problem situation
Warehouse administrator has a sheet ("Record") where every logistics movement performed by the facility is stored, he may filter as needed, although, this is very time consuming and he would like to improve the process in order to calculate inquiries faster, for example: How many "pulp" do we have now (in all racks)? How many pulp do we have now (in rack #5)? Filters are a great tool but, they are somewhat limited to answer these kind of question in matter of seconds. Record Sheet

Macro solution:
The coder knows that autofilters are the best, fast and most reliable solution in these kind of scenarios since the data exists already in the worksheet and the input for them can be obtained easily -in this case, by user input-.
The approach used is to create a sheet called "SmartFilter" where administrator can easily filter multiple data as needed and calculation will be performed instantly as well.
He uses 2 modules and the Worksheet_Change event for this matter

Code For SmartFilter Worksheet:

Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
Dim ItemInRange As Range
Const CellsFilters As String = "C2,E2,G2"
    Call ExcelBusy
    For Each ItemInRange In Target
    If Not Intersect(ItemInRange, Range(CellsFilters)) Is Nothing Then Call Inventory_Filter
    Next ItemInRange
    Call ExcelNormal
End Sub

Code for module 1, called "General_Functions"

Sub ExcelNormal()
        With Excel.Application
        .EnableEvents = True
        .Cursor = xlDefault
        .ScreenUpdating = True
        .DisplayAlerts = True
        .StatusBar = False
        .CopyObjectsWithCells = True
        End With
End Sub
Sub ExcelBusy()
        With Excel.Application
        .EnableEvents = False
        .Cursor = xlWait
        .ScreenUpdating = False
        .DisplayAlerts = False
        .StatusBar = False
        .CopyObjectsWithCells = True
        End With
End Sub
Sub Select_Sheet(NameSheet As String, Optional VerifyExistanceOnly As Boolean)
    On Error GoTo Err01Select_Sheet
    Sheets(NameSheet).Visible = True
    If VerifyExistanceOnly = False Then ' 1. If VerifyExistanceOnly = False
    Sheets(NameSheet).AutoFilterMode = False
    Sheets(NameSheet).Cells.EntireRow.Hidden = False
    Sheets(NameSheet).Cells.EntireColumn.Hidden = False
    End If ' 1. If VerifyExistanceOnly = False
    If 1 = 2 Then '99. If error
    MsgBox "Err01Select_Sheet: Sheet " & NameSheet & " doesn't exist!", vbCritical: Call ExcelNormal: On Error GoTo -1: End
    End If '99. If error
End Sub
Function General_Functions_Find_Title(InSheet As String, TitleToFind As String, Optional InRange As Range, Optional IsNeededToExist As Boolean, Optional IsWhole As Boolean) As Range
Dim DummyRange As Range
    On Error GoTo Err01General_Functions_Find_Title
    If InRange Is Nothing Then ' 1. If InRange Is Nothing
    Set DummyRange = IIf(IsWhole = True, Sheets(InSheet).Cells.Find(TitleToFind, LookAt:=xlWhole), Sheets(InSheet).Cells.Find(TitleToFind, LookAt:=xlPart))
    Else ' 1. If InRange Is Nothing
    Set DummyRange = IIf(IsWhole = True, Sheets(InSheet).Range(InRange.Address).Find(TitleToFind, LookAt:=xlWhole), Sheets(InSheet).Range(InRange.Address).Find(TitleToFind, LookAt:=xlPart))
    End If ' 1. If InRange Is Nothing
    Set General_Functions_Find_Title = DummyRange
    If 1 = 2 Or DummyRange Is Nothing Then '99. If error
    If IsNeededToExist = True Then MsgBox "Err01General_Functions_Find_Title: Ttile '" & TitleToFind & "' was not found in sheet '" & InSheet & "'", vbCritical: Call ExcelNormal: On Error GoTo -1: End
    End If '99. If error
End Function

Code for module 2, called "Inventory_Handling"

Const TitleDesc As String = "DESCRIPTION"
Const TitleLocation As String = "LOCATION"
Const TitleActn As String = "ACTION"
Const TitleQty As String = "QUANTITY"
Const SheetRecords As String = "Record"
Const SheetSmartFilter As String = "SmartFilter"
Const RowFilter As Long = 2
Const ColDataToPaste As Long = 2
Const RowDataToPaste As Long = 7
Const RangeInResult As String = "K1"
Const RangeOutResult As String = "K2"
Sub Inventory_Filter()
Dim ColDesc As Long: ColDesc = General_Functions_Find_Title(SheetSmartFilter, TitleDesc, IsNeededToExist:=True, IsWhole:=True).Column
Dim ColLocation As Long: ColLocation = General_Functions_Find_Title(SheetSmartFilter, TitleLocation, IsNeededToExist:=True, IsWhole:=True).Column
Dim ColActn As Long: ColActn = General_Functions_Find_Title(SheetSmartFilter, TitleActn, IsNeededToExist:=True, IsWhole:=True).Column
Dim ColQty As Long: ColQty = General_Functions_Find_Title(SheetSmartFilter, TitleQty, IsNeededToExist:=True, IsWhole:=True).Column
Dim CounterQty As Long
Dim TotalQty As Long
Dim TotalIn As Long
Dim TotalOut As Long
Dim RangeFiltered As Range
    Call Select_Sheet(SheetSmartFilter)
    If Cells(Rows.Count, ColDataToPaste).End(xlUp).Row > RowDataToPaste - 1 Then Rows(RowDataToPaste & ":" & Cells(Rows.Count, "B").End(xlUp).Row).Delete
    Sheets(SheetRecords).AutoFilterMode = False
    If Cells(RowFilter, ColDesc).Value <> "" Or Cells(RowFilter, ColLocation).Value <> "" Or Cells(RowFilter, ColActn).Value <> "" Then ' 1. If Cells(RowFilter, ColDesc).Value <> "" Or Cells(RowFilter, ColLocation).Value <> "" Or Cells(RowFilter, ColActn).Value <> ""
    With Sheets(SheetRecords).UsedRange
    If Sheets(SheetSmartFilter).Cells(RowFilter, ColDesc).Value <> "" Then .AutoFilter Field:=General_Functions_Find_Title(SheetRecords, TitleDesc, IsNeededToExist:=True, IsWhole:=True).Column, Criteria1:=Sheets(SheetSmartFilter).Cells(RowFilter, ColDesc).Value
    If Sheets(SheetSmartFilter).Cells(RowFilter, ColLocation).Value <> "" Then .AutoFilter Field:=General_Functions_Find_Title(SheetRecords, TitleLocation, IsNeededToExist:=True, IsWhole:=True).Column, Criteria1:=Sheets(SheetSmartFilter).Cells(RowFilter, ColLocation).Value
    If Sheets(SheetSmartFilter).Cells(RowFilter, ColActn).Value <> "" Then .AutoFilter Field:=General_Functions_Find_Title(SheetRecords, TitleActn, IsNeededToExist:=True, IsWhole:=True).Column, Criteria1:=Sheets(SheetSmartFilter).Cells(RowFilter, ColActn).Value
    'If we don't use a filter we would need to use a cycle For/to or For/Each Cell in range
    'to determine whether or not the row meets the criteria that we are looking and then
    'save it on an array, collection, dictionary, etc
    'IG: For CounterRow = 2 To TotalRows
    'If Sheets(SheetSmartFilter).Cells(RowFilter, ColDesc).Value <> "" and Sheets(SheetRecords).cells(CounterRow,ColDescInRecords).Value= Sheets(SheetSmartFilter).Cells(RowFilter, ColDesc).Value then
    'Redim Preserve MyUnecessaryArray(UnecessaryNumber) ''Save to array: (UnecessaryNumber)=MyUnecessaryArray. Or in a dictionary, etc. At the end, we would transpose this values into the sheet, at the end
    'both are the same, but, just try to see the time invested on each logic.
    If .Cells(1, 1).End(xlDown).Value <> "" Then Set RangeFiltered = .Rows("2:" & Sheets(SheetRecords).Cells(Rows.Count, "A").End(xlUp).Row).SpecialCells(xlCellTypeVisible)
    'If it is not <>"" means that there was not filtered data!
    If RangeFiltered Is Nothing Then MsgBox "Err01Inventory_Filter: No data was found with the given criteria!", vbCritical: Call ExcelNormal: End
    RangeFiltered.Copy Destination:=Cells(RowDataToPaste, ColDataToPaste)
    TotalQty = Cells(Rows.Count, ColQty).End(xlUp).Row
    For CounterQty = RowDataToPaste + 1 To TotalQty
    If Cells(CounterQty, ColActn).Value = "In" Then ' 2. If Cells(CounterQty, ColActn).Value = "In"
    TotalIn = Cells(CounterQty, ColQty).Value + TotalIn
    ElseIf Cells(CounterQty, ColActn).Value = "Out" Then ' 2. If Cells(CounterQty, ColActn).Value = "In"
    TotalOut = Cells(CounterQty, ColQty).Value + TotalOut
    End If ' 2. If Cells(CounterQty, ColActn).Value = "In"
    Next CounterQty
    Range(RangeInResult).Value = TotalIn
    Range(RangeOutResult).Value = -(TotalOut)
    End With
    End If ' 1. If Cells(RowFilter, ColDesc).Value <> "" Or Cells(RowFilter, ColLocation).Value <> "" Or Cells(RowFilter, ColActn).Value <> ""
End Sub

Testing and results:

Smartfilter Testing
As we saw in the previous image, this task has been achieved easily. By using autofilters a solution was provided that just takes seconds to compute, is easy to explain to the user -since s/he is familiar with this command- and took a few lines to the coder.