Slow Reaction On Cell Changes

Aug 24, 2009

I have a relatively complex application with a few thousand cell links and dozens of VBA macros (3.5 MB heavy). This application (one file for each project) is used by a few hundred users in about 200 projects.
What I did recently (to allow updating macro program functionality in existing files) is to move all macros into an add-in.

What happens now is every time when I change the content of any cell anywhere in the file, it takes about 3 seconds(!) to leave the cell after changing it and to jump into the one below.
Of course I'm getting complaints from users about this slow behaviour.

This also applies to cells in sheets that have no event macro program related to them.
It applies as well to cells that are not referenced in any other cell.
I tried changing the calculation method from automatic to manual - no change in speed.
I de-activated the add-in - no change in speed.
I have checked if there are any formulas that contain the today() or function or the like - there are none (actually, I had replaced them with links to a cell that contains today's date, which is automatically updated when the file is opened, but this was also this way in the previous version).

It seems that there is something going on that causes Excel to be busy with itself.

Does anyone know what might cause this strange behaviour?
I tried everything I could think of without success and I'm lost now.

We are using Excel 2003 in an XP Professional SP2 environment and most of our computers have 512 MB RAM.

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I'd like the users to be able to change some detail in a couple of places and have it updated throughout the spreadsheet. Basically, the user can change the line name in any of the input sheets and the code changes the sheet name, and searches for the reference to the old name in the overview sheet and changes it accordingly.

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Private Sub Workbook_SheetChange(ByVal Sh As Object, ByVal Target As Range)
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Cells. Find(What:=sOldName, LookIn:=xlValues, _
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MatchCase:=False, SearchFormat:=False).Activate........................

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Our Stroop task: The participant gets some instructions and practice trials, then a series of stimulus words are presented one word at a time in the center of a computer monitor in one of several colors. Word presentation order is randomized for each participant. The participant must press a key corresponding to the color of each word as quickly as possible. For each keypress (including the spacebar, pressed on instructions screens), the reaction time (in msec) is recorded in their Excel spreadsheet under the 'Reaction Time' variable. The 'Error Code' variable indicates whether the participant pressed the correct (C) or incorrect (E) color key in each trial. There are 8 types of words for a total of 48 trials. (Actually, 4 sets of emotion words and 4 sets of control-animal words, each set composed of 6 words each. The task basically measures how much peoplesí attention is captured by emotionally relevant cues in the environment.)

For each participant's data, I need an efficient way (macros?) to:
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---------------------------
ID#...... MeanRTW1.......MeanRTW2...... (etc. for word types 3-8)
101.......1056................2013...............
102.......2148................2594...............
103...
---------------------------

Excel File Format: I've attached a sample file, and here's a simplified overview of a spreadsheet (irrelevant columns and some rows removed). First the ID number is recorded (e.g., 393E), then some unnecessary junk (exp name & date, intro, practice, instructions), then data for the 48 actual trials of interest:
-------------------------------------------
........A...............B..................C.................D............
1 393E
2 stroop.xpt
3 Wed Jan 1, 12:33:00 2008
4
5
6 Trial Name.....Trial No..... Error Code.....ReactionTime
7 introduction..... 1................C............561243
8 practice.......... 2................C............... 2062
9 red-worried........14.............C................1001 (*the first practice trial)
10 (9 more practice trial rows, deleted here)
19 instructions........3..............C................5000
20 red-chicken......19..............E............... 1205
21 blue-tense.......32...............C.................782
* (46 more actual trial rows, deleted here)
--------------------------------------------------

To clarify:
-The variable 'Trial Name' indicates nominally what stimulus was presented for each trial.
-The variable 'Trial No.', indicates the unique numerical marker for each stimulus word. (It probably should have been labeled 'Word Type'. It doesn't reflect the order of stimulus presentation. E.g., the word "tense" is always 'Trial No.' 32 for all participants, regardless of when it presents.)
-A subset of actual trial words (e.g., worried) were also used for the 10 practice trials. Thus, the 10 practice trials must first somehow be discarded or flagged to be ignored before calculating average reaction times for the remaining 48 actual trials.

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