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Using Seek In a Macro

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Using Seek In a Macro.

Several other tips in other issues of ExcelTips discuss opening, reading, writing, appending, and closing text files from within a macro. Another command associated with sequential text files is the Seek command. If used on an open file, Seek positions the internal file pointer at a specific character number in the file. The following code fragment is an example of how it is used:

Open "DOSTEXT.DAT" for Input as #1
iFileLen = LOF(1)
Seek 1, iFileLen / 2

These program lines use the LOF function to determine the length of the file. The last line then positions the internal file pointer half way through the file. All subsequent reading or writing of the file will take place from that position.

You can also use Seek as a function to determine your current position within a text file. This is what this code does:

iCurPos = Seek(1)

This command leaves the internal file pointer where it was, but sets iCurPos to a value representing how many characters into the file the pointer is. The iCurPos value is the position at which all subsequent reading and writing of the file will take place.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2475) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Using Seek In a Macro.

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Comments for this tip:

izal    17 Feb 2016, 08:35
Sorry. I mean by the function:
izal    17 Feb 2016, 08:33
It might be not important but good to know that they are two different "thing".

One is a VBA Function: BA.Seek(position)
This function gives us the position of cursor in file.

The other is a VBA statement: Seek filenumber, position
This statement moves the cursor to the position
Ray Austin    27 Jan 2015, 14:14
Thank you, that's spot on
Barry    26 Jan 2015, 10:24

If you use:

this will position the pointer at the end of the file whereupon you can insert /write further text.

Alternatively, if you open a file in "Append" mode then text will be automatically added to the end of the file.
Ray Austin    25 Jan 2015, 15:55
As it is a text file I expect text to be added from time to time. I would like it to display the end of all the existing text, so the new text would follow in chronological order.
ie the opposite of the stupid MS e mail standard, where subsequent entries are at the top and the whole cannot be easily read in proper sequence.
Thank you
Barry    24 Jan 2015, 05:40

You need to define what you mean by"current" text. Do you mean the current word, sentence or paragraph?

Excel sees the files as just a long string of characters spaces and punctuation are just other characters no different to a,b,c,d..... etc.
Ray Austin    24 Jan 2015, 05:21
Can I set it so it goes to the end of the current text ?

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