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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 24, 2019)

1

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Increasing the Size of the Draft Font

When looking at your document in Draft view, you may want Word to use a larger font than what it normally does. Here's ...

Discover More

Using a Week Number as One Criterion in a Formula

The SUMIFS function can be quite powerful in conditionally summing information based on criteria you specify. This tip ...

Discover More

Multiple Document Users

If you have a group of people working on a single document, you may wonder what tools are available in Word to facilitate ...

Discover More

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!

More WordTips (menu)

Calculated Dates

Word makes it easy to insert today's date in a document, but not as easy to insert a date X number of days in the future. ...

Discover More

Creating a New Document in VBA

When working with documents in a macro, it makes sense that you may need to create a document from time to time. Here's ...

Discover More

Understanding the Select Case Structure

Programming structures are an important tool used by any programmer. The VBA language used by Word's macros includes ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one more than 7?

2021-07-26 11:52:45

Coffeemuncher

That method works most of the time, but will throw an error for web-based file locations such as in OneDrive directories.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.