Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 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: Determining the Length of a String.

Determining the Length of a String

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 26, 2022)

It is hard to imagine a function used more often with strings than the Len() function. This simple little function returns the length of any string. The following are a few examples that can work in your macros:

A = Len(MyString)
B = Len("This is a test")

The first line returns the length of the characters in the variable MyString. The second returns the number of characters between the quote marks (in this case, 14—remember that spaces count as characters).

If you want to determine the length of a selection, you follow a bit different approach:

C = Len(Selection)

This line returns the length of the current text selection in the document. Remember when calculating the length of a selection that paragraph marks (hard returns) count as two characters. That is because they are each really a carriage return followed by a line feed, even though all other macro commands treat them as a single character.

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 (11327) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Determining the Length of a String.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Determining a Random Value

If you need to determine a random value in a macro, you can do so using the Rnd function. This tip presents the syntax ...

Discover More

Turning Off Hyperlink Activation

Does it bother you when you enter a URL and it becomes "active" as soon as you press Enter? Here's how you can turn off ...

Discover More

Margins On the Screen Don't Match Printout

Does your text on the screen sometimes look "scrunched up" when it comes to the transition between pages? It could be a ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Determining Differences Between Dates

Do you need to do some simple math using dates in a your macro? One of the easy functions you can use is the DateDiff ...

Discover More

Editing Word's Built-in Commands

Want to configure Word to do just what you want it to? You can even go so far as to change the actual way in which Word ...

Discover More

Changing Built-in Word Commands

Want to replace Word's internal commands with your own macros? It's easy to do if you know the key discussed in this tip.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five more than 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.