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: Friendly and Informative Error Handling.

Friendly and Informative Error Handling

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 11, 2015)

Other people use my workbooks and I have a simple technique that I use when writing error handlers that makes it easier to cope with problems if macros fail. Every procedure that is at all risky contains a local string variable, sOp, whose value is set during the macro code as follows:

Dim sOp As String
...

...
sOp = "opening target file"
...

...
sOp = "counting lines already filled"
...

...
sOp = "copying source data table"
...

...
sOp = "saving and closing"
...

These statements are nothing more than one might put in as remarks, but they have the advantage that when an error occurs, the user can be informed what was going on at the time. At its simplest the error handler just needs to contain a single statement like this:

MsgBox "Procedure MyMacro failed while " + vbCrLf + sOp

The value of sOp can also be used to determine the next action (resume, exit, etc). Using this technique in your own macros can make them easier to debug and more friendly for users.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2597) 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: Friendly and Informative Error Handling.

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

Problem with Missing Context Menu Option

When you right-click a cell, does it seem that the Context menu is missing an item or two? Here's how to get those items ...

Discover More

Shading Based on Odds and Evens

You can use conditional formatting to add shading to various cells in your worksheet. This tip shows how you can shade cells ...

Discover More

Changing Text Case Many Times

You can use the built-in Word shortcut to change the case of a text selection. You may have quite a few items in a document ...

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)

Counting Shaded Cells

Ever want to know how many cells in a worksheet (or a selection) are shaded in some way? You can create a handy little macro ...

Discover More

Finding Cells Filled with a Particular Color

Do you need to find cells that are formatted with a particular color? How you accomplish this task depends on your version of ...

Discover More

Trimming Spaces from Strings

Need to get rid of extraneous spaces before or after the text in a string? VBA provides three different functions you can use ...

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:

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.

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
Share