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: Checking for a Text Selection Length.

Checking for a Text Selection Length

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 18, 2016)

5

There are numerous times when you are writing macros when you will need to determine if the user has made a selection. There are numerous ways you can do this in a macro. The following code illustrates one possible method for accomplishing this in VBA. It sets the value of a flag, InSelection, to True if there is currently a selection. Otherwise InSelection is set to False.

InSelection = False
If Len(Selection) > 0 Then InSelection = True

The technique used here relies on the fact that if a selection has been made, it will have a length. This length is returned by the Len function of VBA.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12175) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Checking for a Text Selection Length.

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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Comments

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What is 4 + 1?

2016-04-18 21:21:23

Av

What about
if selection.start <>selection.end
?


2014-05-07 13:12:34

awyatt

Seems that it is best to NOT check the length. Instead, use the following code:

Inselection = False
If Selection.Type = wdSelectionIP Then
Inselection = True
End If

Or, if you prefer:

Inselection = (Selection.Type = wdSelectionIP)

-Allen


2014-05-07 12:50:05

Marc Hichens

I can confirm that the code also does not work in Word 2010. When nothing is selected (flashing cursor), the selected range has a length of 1. When 1 character is highlighted, the selected range also has a length of 1.

I am looking for a technique to check whether any text is highlighted prior to proceeding with the remainder of the code.


2012-12-16 15:01:49

Moshe Flam

In any case this does not work for word 2003 (and I suspect doesnt work for all versions) - When nothing selected, the first letter after the cursor is returned, so you get Len(Selection) = 1 and not zero.


2012-10-06 05:22:37

Rod Grealish

The code fragment

InSelection = False
If Len(Selection) > 0 Then InSelection = True

could be written as

InSelection = Len(Selection) > 0


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