Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Comparing Strings.

Comparing Strings

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 2, 2021)

It is not uncommon to compare strings in a macro. For instance, you may need to compare what a user typed with some pre-determined value. If you do this directly, you must take into consideration that the user may not have typed his (or her) string in the same way as you expected. Particularly vexing is the fact that the user may have mixed upper and lower case in their response.

The quickest and easiest way around this is to use either the UCase or LCase function on their input before you do the comparison. For instance, let's assume you prompt the user for the word "yes" to verify they want an action done. The following code will check the input, regardless of how the user typed it.

If LCase(UserIn) = "yes" then DoIt = True

The trick is to make sure your test string is either all uppercase or all lowercase, and then convert the user's input to that same case.

If you suspect that the user may inadvertently add spaces to either the beginning of ending of whatever they type as input, then you can enhance the statement by also including the Trim statement to get rid of the spaces:

If Trim(LCase(UserIn)) = "yes" then DoIt = True

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9000) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Comparing Strings.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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