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: Self-Aware Macros.

Self-Aware Macros

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 25, 2018)

For some macros you may need to determine if there is a way to determine the particular machine on which the macro is operating. For instance, you may have a desktop PC that has a particular directory at D:\OraNT\Plus33, while your notebook PC has the directory at C:\OraNT\Plus33. The macro, of course, needs to detect which machine is in use so that it knows which directory to use for its processing.

There are different ways that this task can be approached. It is possible to create an Excel macro that actually accesses the Windows API and determines the name of the computer on which it is running. Such an approach can get quite involved, however.

An easier way is to just use VBA's DIR command to determine where the desired directory exists. The following will do the trick:

Sub OracleQueries()
    Dim sTemp As String
    Dim sGoodPath As String

    sGoodPath = "D:\OraNT\Plus33\"
    sTemp = Dir("D:\OraNT\Plus33\nul")
    If sTemp = "" Then
        sGoodPath = "C:\OraNT\Plus33\"
        sTemp = Dir("C:\OraNT\Plus33\nul")
    End If

    'Now have directory information
    If sTemp <> "" Then
        'Process queries using sGoodPath
    Else
        MsgBox "Directories not found!"
    End If
End Sub

Notice how the DIR function is used in this example. Normally DIR returns the name of the first file it finds in the requested directory. If the directory is empty, however, DIR returns an empty string—even if the directory actually exists. Since all we want to do is find out if the directory exists (not if there are files in it), it is necessary to append the letters "nul" at the end of the directory path used by DIR. This causes DIR to return an empty string if the directory is not located, or else the characters "nul" if it is (even if the directory is empty).

Toward the end of the macro, sTemp will be empty if neither directory could be located. If one of them was located, then sTemp will not be empty, and sGoodPath will be set to the directory name that can be used in further processing.

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 (2607) 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: Self-Aware Macros.

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

Creating Unnumbered Endnotes

Endnotes are indispensable in some types of writing. You may want to create endnotes, however, that don't follow the ...

Discover More

Status Bar Summing No Longer Available

When you select a range of cells, Excel normally displays the sum of those selected cells on the status bar. If the sum ...

Discover More

Getting the Name of the Worksheet Into a Cell

Excel allows you to change the names assigned to the worksheets in a workbook. If you want to have those names appear in ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Replacing and Converting in a Macro

When you use a macro to process data you always run the risk of making that data unusable by Excel. This is especially ...

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 ...

Discover More

Unprotecting Groups of Worksheets

Unprotecting a single worksheet is relatively easy. Unprotecting a whole lot of worksheets is harder. Here's how you can ...

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 nine minus 4?

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.