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: Using Message Boxes.

Using Message Boxes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 9, 2016)

When you create macros in Word, you can easily incorporate the use of message boxes. These are typically used to convey information to the user and to get some rudimentary input. You include message boxes by using the MsgBox command. The following portion of a macro creates a very simple message box:

MsgBox "The Macro is Done"

You can also add symbols to your message boxes by including a symbol-type code as part of your MsgBox invocation. These symbols are used extensively in many Windows dialog boxes. The following four types of symbols can be used:

Type Symbol
16 Stop sign
32 Question mark in a circle
48 Exclamation point in a circle
64 Information symbol (lowercase i in a circle)

As an example, let's suppose you wanted to include the exclamation point symbol. This is typically included in dialog boxes as a notice of when something important has happened or is about to happen. To include this symbol in your message box, you would include the following macro code:

MsgBox "Can't run this macro on this text", 48

So far the MsgBox command has been used as a statement, but you can also use it as a function. If you do so, you can use it to get simple input from the user. To make the MsgBox function more useful, Word allows you to display more clickable buttons in the dialog box besides the OK button. This is done by adjusting the type code, which was used for the symbols displayed in the message box. The following are the different button combinations you can display in your message box:

Type Button Types
1 OK, Cancel
2 Abort, Retry, Ignore
3 Yes, No, Cancel
4 Yes, No
5 Retry, Cancel

To use the buttons, you simply add the value of the button type to the value you want used for the symbol. In the previous example, you used the code of 48 to display the exclamation point symbol. If you wanted to also include the Abort, Retry, Ignore buttons, you simply change the code to 50, which is 48 (the symbol code) plus 2 (the button code).

When using buttons in this way, the MsgBox function returns a value indicating which button the user chose. The buttons return, from left to right, -1, 0, and 1. Thus, if you use a button code of 3, then -1 would mean the user chose Yes, 0 would mean No, and 1 would mean Cancel.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1072) 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: Using Message Boxes.

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

Letters and Numbers in Page Numbers

A common task is to add page numbers to document headers and footers. If you want those page numbers to include more than ...

Discover More

Searching for Multi-Byte Hex Codes

Need to find a character for which you only know the hex code? There are a few ways you can search for the information, as ...

Discover More

Using Manual Line Breaks with Justified Paragraphs

If you use justified paragraphs, you know that if you press Shift+Enter, it can lead to some odd spacing between words and ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Determining an ANSI Value

You may need to determine the numeric value of a character in a macro. You can do that using the Asc function, described in ...

Discover More

Debugging a Macro

Create a macro and you are faced with the (sometimes) challenge of debugging it. Here's how to make that task as simple as ...

Discover More

Saving Changes when Closing

If you write a macro that makes changes to a document, you may want that macro to save those changes. There are several ways ...

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}] 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 4 + 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.

Newest Tips
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.