Replacing Text in a Macro

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 11, 2014)

If you are writing macros, you probably do a lot of work with string variables. A common operation related to string variables is the need to replace one occurrence of characters in a string with another occurrence. For instance, consider the following string:

"This is my string of characters."

You might want to replace "of" with another word, such as "that has". The following general-purpose function can do just that, and much more:

Function RepText(sIn As String, sFind As String, sRep As String) As String
    Dim x As Integer

    x = InStr(sIn, sFind)
    While x > 0
        sIn = Left(sIn, x - 1) & sRep & Mid(sIn, x + Len(sFind))
        x = InStr(sIn, sFind)
    Wend
    RepText = sIn
End Function

As an example of how to use the function, you can do the following:

sTemp = "This is my string of characters."
sTemp = RepText(sTemp, "of", "that has")

When this code is executed, sTemp will contain the string "This is my string that has characters."

In my routines, I often utilize a function just like RepText to remove extra spaces (replacing a two-space string with a single-space string) or replacing multiple spaces with a tab character. How you use it, of course, is entirely up to you.

Those who have used only the latest versions of VBA may be curious as to why I would use a function such as RepText rather than the built-in Replace function. While the Replace function does essentially the same thing as RepText, its addition to the VBA arsenal is a relatively new occurrence. If your macros have even the slightest possibility of being used in older versions of Word, then using Replace runs the risk of crashing your macro—it won't be available in those versions.

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 (811) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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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