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Declaring Variables

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Declaring Variables.

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 (731) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Declaring Variables.

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