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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 2, 2014)

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)

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Zooming with the Keyboard

Want to zoom in and out without the need to use the mouse? You can create your own handy macros that do the zooming for you.

Discover More

Underlining Tabs In Numbered Lists

When Word creates an automatically numbered list, it removes some of your formatting flexibility. One thing you can't seem to ...

Discover More

Deriving a Secant and Cosecant

Two rather common trigonometric functions are secants and cosecants. Excel doesn't provide functions to calculate these, but ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Jumping Around Folders

When you open a workbook in Excel, the Open dialog box always starts within the folder in which you were last working. You ...

Discover More

Comma-Delimited and MS-DOS CSV Variations

Excel provides different file formats you can use to export your worksheet information. One such file format is CSV, or comma ...

Discover More

Specifying a Delimiter when Saving a CSV File in a Macro

You can, within a macro, save a workbook in several different file formats that are understood by Excel. However, you may not ...

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. 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 nine minus 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.