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: Detecting an Open Dialog Box.

Detecting an Open Dialog Box

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 15, 2012)

2

Thomas has a macro that performs various functions at timed intervals. Some of those functions should not be performed if a dialog box is open on the screen, because trying to perform them will cause an error in the functions. He wonders if there is some way, within the macro, to detect if a dialog box—any dialog box—is currently open. Thomas would rather detect the open dialog box rather than deal with a generated error.

Perhaps the only way to attempt to do this is to use FindWindow, which is actually part of the Windows API. Its purpose is to retrieve a handle to a particular open window. (A dialog box is nothing but an open window, and each dialog box has a name.) This approach won't tell you if any dialog box is open, but it will tell you if a specific dialog box is open.

Here is a quick example to show how the FindWindow function can be used:

Declare Function FindWindow Lib "user32" Alias "FindWindowA" _
  (ByVal wClassName As Any, ByVal wWindowName As String) As Long

Sub testDialogOpen()
    Dim wHandle As Long
    Dim wName As String

    wName = "Find and Replace"
    wHandle = FindWindow(0&, wName)
    If wHandle = 0 Then
        MsgBox "Dialog window is not open"
    Else
        MsgBox "Dialog window is open"
    End If
End Sub

Note that the FindWindow function needs to be declared outside of your VBA procedure. Then, within the procedure, you need to specify the name of the dialog box you want to find out about. This is the name that appears in the title bar for the dialog box, and the FindWindow function is case insensitive. The return value for FindWindow will be a handle for the dialog box, if it is open. If it is not open, then the function returns a 0.

Remember, too, that dialog boxes can be of two types: modal and non-modal. If a particular dialog box is modal, then it must be dismissed before any other actions can be taken on the system. You'll want to do extensive testing with the dialog boxes at point, as you may get different performance from your macro depending on whether an open dialog box is modal or not.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12355) 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: Detecting an Open Dialog Box.

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

Assigning a Shortcut Key to Styles

Shortcut keys are a great way to apply styles to text in a document. You can easily create a shortcut key assignment for any ...

Discover More

Shortening ZIP Codes

US ZIP Codes can be of two varieties: five-digits or nine-digits. Here's how to convert longer ZIP Codes to the shorter ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Modify Style Message

When you apply styles to a paragraph, you may periodically see a message asking if you want to reapply the style or modify ...

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)

How to Paste Non-Floating Pictures with a Macro

Using a macro to paste pictures inline instead of floating in Word 97.

Discover More

Determining a Random Value

If you need to determine a random value in a macro, you can do so using the Rnd function. This tip presents the syntax and ...

Discover More

Offering Options in a Macro

When creating macros, you often need to offer a series of choices to a user. This tip demonstrates how easy it is to offer ...

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 for this tip:

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. 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 3 - 0?

2012-12-15 01:55:30

Tom Stevens

Big oops - Non-existing names do NOT generate an error!


2012-12-15 01:53:53

Tom Stevens

One more example of the power of API calls. This code can be easily converted to a generic function testing whether any dialog with the passed name is open. Non-existing dialog names do generate an error.


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.

Links and Sharing