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: Determining If a File Exists.

Determining If a File Exists

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 5, 2013)

3

As you are programming your macros, you may have a need to determine if a particular file exists on disk. For instance, the purpose of your macro may be to open and read from a text file. Before doing so, you will want to check to see if the file exists, in order to avoid an error.

The following VBA function can be used to check for the existence of a file. All you need to do is pass it the full filename as a string, and the macro returns either True (if the file exists) or False (if it doesn't).

Function FileThere(FileName As String) As Boolean
     FileThere = (Dir(FileName) > "")
End Function

This function works by using the Dir function, which checks for a file in a directory. If the file exists, then Dir returns the full path of the file. The True/False condition of the function is derived by comparing what Dir returns against an empty string. If something is returned, the file exists because Dir doesn't return an empty string.

You can use the function similar to the following:

If FileThere("c:\myfile.txt") Then
     '
     ' Do stuff here
     '
Else
     MsgBox "File Not There!"
End If

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2516) 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: Determining If a File Exists.

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

Printing a Style Sheet

Styles are a fantastic way to format your documents easily and consistently. At some point you may want to print out a list ...

Discover More

Transposing and Linking

Do you need to both transpose and link information you are pasting in a worksheet? It isn't as impossible to do as it appears ...

Discover More

Removing Return Addresses

Word allows you to print return addresses on your envelopes. You may run across a scenario where the return address is being ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Adding a File Path and Filename

If you need to stuff the current workbook's filename and path into a cell or a header or footer, you'll appreciate the ...

Discover More

Saving All Open Workbooks

Wouldn't it be nice to have a single command that would save each of you open workbooks, all at once? It's easy to do with ...

Discover More

Setting the AutoRecover Directory

Excel, by default, periodically writes information to AutoRecover files that can help protect your data in case Excel is ...

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 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 three minus 1?

2015-03-27 14:23:06

Franklyn

Thank you, it works great.


2014-07-15 17:28:42

Greg Yoder

Never mind I figured it out. Had to add the function to the end of my sub


2014-07-15 17:22:01

Greg Yoder

I am using Excel 2010. Writing a macro to load a file from c:temp.

When I try using FileThere I get the following Error.

Compile Error SubFunction not defined?


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.

Links and Sharing