Conditionally Deleting Rows

When you are working with data tables containing information that you received from another person, you may want to prune the amount of data in the table by deleting rows if a particular condition is met. There are several ways you can approach such a task.

The first method is to use Excel’s AutoFilter feature. This works particularly well if you have a rather simple criteria by which to delete rows. When you turn on the AutoFilter, Excel places pull-down buttons at the right side of each cell in the data table’s header row. Using these pull-down buttons you can specify the records you want displayed. You should select a filter value that will result in displaying only those rows you want to delete. With those rows displayed, you can select them and use the ribbon tools to get rid of the rows. When you turn AutoFilter off, then you are left with only the rows you wanted.

Another method involves the use of macros to do the deleting for you. This approach works well if you have to perform the deletions on lots of data, or if you do it quite often. The following macro can delete rows based on a key value:

Sub DeleteRows()
    Dim strToDelete As String
    Dim rngSrc As Range
    Dim NumRows As Integer
    Dim ThisRow As Integer
    Dim ThatRow As Integer
    Dim ThisCol As Integer
    Dim J As Integer
    Dim DeletedRows As Integer

    strToDelete = InputBox("Value to Trigger Delete?", "Delete Rows")
    Set rngSrc = ActiveSheet.Range(ActiveWindow.Selection.Address)

    NumRows = rngSrc.Rows.Count
    ThisRow = rngSrc.Row
    ThatRow = ThisRow + NumRows - 1
    ThisCol = rngSrc.Column

    For J = ThatRow To ThisRow Step -1
        If Cells(J, ThisCol) = strToDelete Then
            Selection.Delete Shift:=xlUp
            DeletedRows = DeletedRows + 1
        End If
    Next J
    MsgBox "Number of deleted rows: " & DeletedRows
End Sub

To use the macro, select the range the key range that covers the rows you want checked. For instance, if the key to be checked is in column G, and you want to check rows 5 through 73, then you would select the range G5:G73. When you run the macro, it asks you what value it should check for. If any cells in the range G5:G73 contain the value you specify, the corresponding row for that cell will be deleted.

There are obviously other ways to delete rows based on a value. For a good selection of different methods, take a look at this page by Dave Hawley at Ozgrid: