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 the Length of a Text File.

Determining the Length of a Text File

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 7, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Other ExcelTips have discussed opening, reading, writing, appending, and closing text files. Another VBA function associated with sequential text files is the LOF function. If used on an open file, it returns the length of the file, in bytes. In other words, you can determine the number of characters in the file.

This can come in handy if you are processing a text file character by character. You can determine the length of the file and then read that many characters before you finish processing the file. The following code fragment is an example of how the LOF function is used:

Open "MyFile.Dat" for Input as #1
FileLen = LOF(1)

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 (2517) 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 the Length of a Text File.

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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