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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 24, 2015)

7

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Adding Information after the Endnotes

Endnotes appear at the end of the document, right? Not always, as Word provides a way that you can actually add as much ...

Discover More

Moving Drawing Objects

When you need to move a drawing object around your document, you use the mouse after you select the object. This tip ...

Discover More

Changing Coordinate Colors

Tired of the default colors that Excel uses to display the row and column coordinates? You can modify the colors, but ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Displaying the "Last Modified" Date

Want to know when a workbook was last modified? Want to put that date within the header of your worksheet? Here's how to ...

Discover More

Controlling Display of Toolbar Buttons

You can assign your macros to a series of custom toolbar buttons, but you may only want those buttons to be visible when ...

Discover More

Determining If a Number is Odd or Even

If you need to know whether a particular value is odd or even, you can use this simple formula. Designed to be used in a ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, 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 three less than 5?

2016-02-17 08:35:50

izal

Sorry. I mean by the function:
VBA.Seek(filenumber)


2016-02-17 08:33:22

izal

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


2015-01-27 14:14:33

Ray Austin

Barry,
Thank you, that's spot on
Ray


2015-01-26 10:24:31

Barry

@Ray

If you use:

Seek(1),LOF(1)
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.


2015-01-25 15:55:26

Ray Austin

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


2015-01-24 05:40:37

Barry

@Ray

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.


2015-01-24 05:21:24

Ray Austin

Can I set it so it goes to the end of the current text ?


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, 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.