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: Checking for a Text Selection Length.

Checking for a Text Selection Length

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 8, 2018)

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, bInSelection, to True if there is currently a selection. Otherwise bInSelection is set to False.

Dim bInSelection As Boolean

bInSelection = False
If Selection.Type=wdSelectionIP Then
    bInselection=True
End If

You might wonder if you could use an approach of checking if the length of the selection is greater than zero, as in this method:

Dim bInSelection As Boolean

bInSelection = False
If Len(Selection) > 0 Then
    bInselection=True
End If

This approach won't work. The reason is because when there is no selection made (the insertion point is collapsed and just blinking), Word still returns a selection length of 1. This is a bit aggravating as it makes no logical sense. Thus, you need to check the Type property of the Selection object, as in the first example above. If you want to shorten it even further, you could use the following:

Dim bInSelection As Boolean

bInselection=(Selection.Type=wdSelectionIP)

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 (12175) 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: 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Tracking Down Invalid References

When you discover that there is an invalid reference in a workbook, you can have a bear of a time tracking down the ...

Discover More

Calculating Differences in Months using Non-Standard Date Values

Dates can be entered into a worksheet in any number of unique or novel ways. Working with those dates can be a challenge, ...

Discover More

Best Quality for High Resolution Graphics

You want your documents to look as good as they can. If those documents include graphics, then you also need to make sure ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Moving the Insertion Point to the End of a Line

When writing a macro to process the text in a document, you may need to move the insertion point to the end of a line. ...

Discover More

Bumping Numbers in a Document

If your documents include words that contain numbers (such as a list of parts numbers) you may need a way to increment ...

Discover More

Understanding the For ... Next Structure

Spend any time creating Word macros, and sooner or later you will need to repeat some of your programming code a certain ...

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 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 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.