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 If a File Exists.

Determining if a File Exists

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 19, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


As you are programming your macros, you may have a need to determine if a particular file exists on disk. For instance, the purpose of your macro may be to open and read from a text file. Before doing so, you will want to check to see if the file exists, in order to avoid an error.

The following function can be used to check for the existence of a file. All you need to do is pass it the full filename as a string, and the macro returns either True (if the file exists) or False (if it doesn't).

Function FileThere(FileName As String) As Boolean
    FileThere = (Dir(FileName) > "")
End Function

You can use the function similar to the following:

If FileThere("c:\myfile.txt") Then
    '
    ' Do stuff here
    '
Else
    MsgBox "File Not There!"
End If

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 (819) 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 If a File Exists.

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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