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: Understanding the Select Case Structure.

Understanding the Select Case Structure

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 6, 2019)

3

Macros in Word are written in a language called VBA. Like any other programming language, VBA includes certain programming structures that are used to control how the program executes. One of these structures is the Select Case structure. This structure has the following syntax:

Select Case expression
    Case expression
        program statements
    Case expression
        program statements
    Case Else
        program statements
End Select

When a macro is executing and this structure is encountered, Word uses the expression (first line) to test each subsequent Case statement to see if the code under the Case statement should be executed. For instance, consider the following code:

Select Case DayOfWeek
    Case 1
        DayName = "Monday"
    Case 2
        DayName = "Tuesday"
    Case 3
        DayName = "Wednesday"
    Case 4
        DayName = "Thursday"
    Case 5
        DayName = "Friday"
    Case 6
        DayName = "Saturday"
    Case 7
        DayName = "Sunday"
    Case Else
        DayName = "Unknown day"
End Select

This code assumes you enter it with DayOfWeek already set to a numeric value. Let's say (for example's sake) the value is 4. In this structure, the only code that would be executed is the code under the Case 4 statement—in other words, the macro would set DayName to "Thursday." If DayOfWeek were set to some other value not accounted for by the Case statements (outside of the 1 to 7 range), then the code under Case Else would execute, and the macro would set DayName to "Unknown day."

You also are not limited to simple Case statement expressions. For instance, you could use a Select Case structure such as the following:

Select Case DayOfWeek
    Case 1 To 5
        DayName = "Weekday"
    Case 6, 7
        DayName = "Weekend"
    Case Else
        DayName = "Unknown day"
End Select

Note the use of the range in the first Case statement and the use of multiple values in the second. The Case statement expression is quite flexible in how you can structure it.

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 (12692) 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: Understanding the Select Case Structure.

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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What is two less than 6?

2019-04-07 03:22:30

Ron S

Thanks Allen.

That is a bigger test than I tried. Dedication. I was hoping to find a documented limit. But logically, there is no reason for a limit because there is no structure that needs to be kept in memory. The Select, identifies the start and End Select and VBA just has to handle one case at a time


2019-04-06 08:38:48

Allen

Good question, Ron. I don't know of an upper limit on the number of Case statements you can have within a Select Case structure. I just put together one that has 1001 levels (1000 explicit and 1 Case Else) and it worked fine. (I stopped at 1000 because I figured it really didn't matter at that point -- the structure was way big enough.)

-Allen


2019-04-06 05:06:44

Ron

Is there an upper limit to the number cases that can be evaluated? I've searched but have not found any documentation for that.


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