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.

Using Seek In a Macro

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 28, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


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.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

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.

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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