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: Determining the Length of a String.

Determining the Length of a String

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 18, 2012)

It is hard to imagine a function used more often with strings than the Len() function. This simple little function returns the length of any string. The following are a few examples that can work in your macros:

A = Len(MyString)
B = Len("This is a test")

The first line returns the length of the characters in the variable MyString. The second returns the number of characters between the quote marks (in this case, 14—remember that spaces count as characters).

If you want to determine the length of a selection, you follow a bit different approach:

C = Len(Selection)

This line returns the length of the current text selection in the document. Remember when calculating the length of a selection that paragraph marks (hard returns) count as two characters. That is because they are each really a carriage return followed by a line feed, even though all other macro commands treat them as a single character.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (777) 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: Determining the Length of a String.

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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