Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Declaring Variables.

Declaring Variables

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 2, 2013)

If you have ever programmed any macros, you are probably familiar with how you define variables using the Dim keyword. For instance, you can define an integer variable with the name MyVar as follows:

Dim MyVar As Integer

This is very straightforward, and will work fine in your code. You may be tempted to define multiple variables per line, however:

Dim x, y, z As Integer

In some versions of the BASIC language, this will define and initialize three variables, each as an integer. In VBA it also appears to run properly, and no error is generated. However, there is a small problem—only the last variable (z) is actually defined as an integer. You can see how this works by using the following code:

Sub DimTest()
    Dim x, y, z As Integer
    MsgBox "x is type " & VarType(x)
    MsgBox "y is type " & VarType(y)
    MsgBox "z is type " & VarType(z)
End Sub

When you run the macro, the first two message boxes that pop up show that the variable type for x and y are 0, which means uninitialized. Only the last message box (for z) shows a variable type of 2, meaning an integer.

The solution is to make sure that you declare your variables one per line, or using the full syntax for each variable, as in the following:

Dim x As Integer, y As Integer, z As Integer

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12098) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Declaring Variables.

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

Turning Off a Startup Sound

If you hear a sound when you start Word, it is because of some settings within Windows itself. You can use the Control Panel ...

Discover More

One Shortcut for Two Macros

Excel allows you to assign shortcut keys to macros. Given two different workbooks each containing different macros, it is ...

Discover More

Referencing the Last Six Items in a Formula

If you have a list of data in a column, you may want to determine an average of whatever the last few items are in the ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Determining the Size of a File

When processing a document using a macro, you may need to know the precise size of a particular file. The way you figure this ...

Discover More

Resetting Character Formatting in a Macro

Shortcut keys are a great way to apply styles to text in a document. You can easily create a shortcut key assignment for any ...

Discover More

Trimming Spaces from Strings

When processing text with a macro, you often need to remove extraneous spaces from the text. VBA provides three handy ...

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}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. 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 three more than 5?

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.

Newest Tips
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.