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Counting the Instances of a Text String

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: Counting the Instances of a Text String.

When you are working in a large document, you may want to know how many times a particular text string occurs within a portion of the document. One way you can find this information is to create a macro that will examine a selected range of text to see how many instances it contains. Consider the following macro:

Sub CountString()
    Dim MyDoc As String, txt As String, t As String
    MyDoc = ActiveDocument.Range.Text
    txt = InputBox("Text to find")
    t = Replace(MyDoc, txt, "")
    MsgBox (Len(MyDoc) - Len(t)) / Len(txt) & " occurrences of " & txt
End Sub

Select the text you want analyzed and then run the macro. It assigns the selected text to the MyDoc variable (so nothing in the actual document is affected) and then asks you to enter the text string you want to find. The Replace function is then used to replace all the instances of that string within the MyDoc variable. The text, after the replacement, is assigned to the variable t. The length of the "before" text (MyDoc) and the "after" text (t) is compared and the number of replacements calculated.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3788) 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: Counting the Instances of a Text String.

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Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!


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