Application.Evaluate method (Excel)

Converts a Microsoft Excel name to an object or a value.


expression.Evaluate (Name)

expression A variable that represents an Application object.


Name Required/Optional Data type Description
Name Required Variant A formula or the name of the object, using the naming convention of Microsoft Excel. The length of the name must be less than or equal to 255 characters.

Return value



The following types of names in Microsoft Excel can be used with this method:

  • Formulas.

  • A1-style references. Use any reference to a single cell in A1-style notation. All references are considered to be absolute references.

  • Ranges. Use the range, intersect, and union operators (colon, space, and comma, respectively) with references.

  • Defined names. You can specify any name in the language of the macro.

  • External references. Use the ! operator to refer to a cell or to a name defined in another workbook; for example, Evaluate("[BOOK1.XLS]Sheet1!A1").

  • Chart objects. You can specify any chart object name, such as Legend, Plot Area, or Series 1, to access the properties and methods of that object. For example, Charts("Chart1").Evaluate("Legend").Font.Name returns the name of the font used in the legend.

  • Form Control number. You can specify a number, as well as a name, to refer to Form Control on a worksheet. For example, for Label located on a worksheet (Developer tab - Insert - Form Controls - Label), both Evaluate("Label 1").Caption = "Hello" and Evaluate("1").Caption = "Hello" do the same.

Using square brackets (for example, "[A1:C5]") is identical to calling the Evaluate method with a string argument. For example, the following expression pairs are equivalent.

[a1].Value = 25 
Evaluate("A1").Value = 25 
trigVariable = [SIN(45)] 
trigVariable = Evaluate("SIN(45)") 
Set firstCellInSheet = Workbooks("BOOK1.XLS").Sheets(4).[A1] 
Set firstCellInSheet = _ 

The advantage of using square brackets is that the code is shorter. The advantage of using Evaluate is that the argument is a string, so you can either construct the string in your code or use a Visual Basic variable.


This example turns on bold formatting in cell A1 on Sheet1.

boldCell = "A1" 
Application.Evaluate(boldCell).Font.Bold = True

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