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Function that returns currently selected cell address or column

252 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Nov 26, 2012 9:11 AM by Badunit RSS
Matt2.0 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 24, 2012 2:57 AM

Is there a function that returns the address (or just the column) of the currently selected cell? Simply put, something like =selectedcolumn.


Background: I want to display help text in a cell, and I want that help text to change according to which cell (actually, which column) the user has selected. I have put the help texts in a hidden row. They take up too much space to be displayed all the time. I want one cell to contain the help text of the column of the currently selected cell.


Trying to not use Filemaker for this project if possible


Thanks for any help /Matt

  • Wayne Contello Level 6 Level 6 (12,790 points)

    Numbers does not have the concept of a selected cell (except to the the extent that a Use can select one or more).  Numbers has function that allow a formula to know the row and column where the formula resides (shrewdly named row() and column())

  • Barry Level 7 Level 7 (29,095 points)

    Not quite the answer to what you're asking, but a possible substitute:

    Picture 10.png

    Select the cell and click the Comment button in the toolbar to add a comment.




  • Badunit Level 6 Level 6 (10,775 points)

    The Numbers method, using comments as Barry showed, is probably the best method.  An alternate method which is more complex would be to use an Applescript running in the background.  The Applescript can scan in the background for which cell/column is currently selected and write that cell/column address into a cell in your table. A formula in your table (most likely a lookup formula) can use that address to serve up the correct help text in a diffrerent cell in the table or in another table.


    Some problems with this methodare

    • The script is not part of the document. It is a separate entity.
    • The script must be started manually. It will not automatically start when the Numbers document is opened.
    • If the Numbers document is to be used on other Macs, each would also need the script installed.


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