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: Offering Options in a Macro.

Offering Options in a Macro

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 12, 2016)

If you are just starting out developing macros, you may be looking for a simple way to offer a set of choices to a user, and then take an action based on the user's response. This is a relatively simple task, if you use the InputBox function, along with a Select Case structure.

The first task is to set up your InputBox so it displays the information to the user. For example, let's say you have five options, and you want the user to select one option from those five. You can use the following code to put together five options, each on their own line:

sPrompt = "1. This is your first choice" & vbCrLf
sPrompt = sPrompt & "2. This is your second choice" & vbCrLf
sPrompt = sPrompt & "3. This is your third choice" & vbCrLf
sPrompt = sPrompt & "4. This is your fourth choice" & vbCrLf
sPrompt = sPrompt & "5. This is your fifth choice"

You can now use the sPrompt string when you invoke the InputBox function in your macro. You then translate what the user responds with into a number that represents their choice from your five options. The code to do this is as follows:

sUserResp = InputBox(sPrompt, "The Big Question")
iUR = Val(sUserResp)

In this example, the response from the InputBox function is assigned to the sUserResp variable, which should be a string. The iUR variable, which is a numeric variable (integer), is then set based on the value of the string. (The Val function returns the value in a string.)

The only thing left to do is to take an action based on which number was chosen, 1 through 5. You can use the Select Case structure to do this. The full subroutine could appear as follows in VBA:

Sub TestInput()
    Dim sPrompt As String
    Dim sUserResp As String
    Dim iUR As Integer

    sPrompt = "1. This is your first choice" & vbCrLf
    sPrompt = sPrompt & "2. This is your second choice" & vbCrLf
    sPrompt = sPrompt & "3. This is your third choice" & vbCrLf
    sPrompt = sPrompt & "4. This is your fourth choice" & vbCrLf
    sPrompt = sPrompt & "5. This is your fifth choice"
    iUR = 0
    While iUR < 1 Or iUR > 5
        sUserResp = InputBox(sPrompt, "The Big Question")
        iUR = Val(sUserResp)
    Wend
    Select Case iUR
        Case 1
            'Do stuff for choice 1 here
        Case 2
            'Do stuff for choice 2 here
        Case 3
            'Do stuff for choice 3 here
        Case 4
            'Do stuff for choice 4 here
        Case 5
            'Do stuff for choice 5 here
    End Select
End Sub

Notice that this example uses a While ... Wend loop around the InputBox function. This is done to make sure that the user enters a number between 1 and 5. If the value entered is outside that range, then the user is simply asked again.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1366) 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: Offering Options in a Macro.

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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