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: Declaring Variables.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 7, 2018)
If you have ever programmed any macros, you are probably familiar with how you define variables using the Dim keyword. For instance, you can define an integer variable with the name MyVar as follows:
Dim MyVar As Integer
This is very straightforward, and will work fine in your code. To save a few lines in your code you may be tempted to define multiple variables per line:
Dim x, y, z As Integer
In some versions of the BASIC language, this will define and initialize three variables, each as an integer. In VBA it also appears to run properly, and no error is generated. However, there is a small problem—only the last variable (z) is actually defined as an integer. You can see how this works by using the following code:
Sub DimTest() Dim x, y, z As Integer Dim sTemp As String sTemp = "x is type " & VarType(x) & vbCrLf sTemp = sTemp & "y is type " & VarType(y) & vbCrLf sTemp = sTemp & "z is type " & VarType(z) MsgBox sTemp End Sub
When you run the macro, the message box shows that the variable type for x and y are 0, which means that the variable is a variant (the default data type for undeclared variables). Only the last message box (for z) shows a variable type of 2, meaning an integer.
The solution is to make sure that you declare your variables one per line, or using the full syntax for each variable, as in the following:
Dim x As Integer, y As Integer, z As Integer
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3113) 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: Declaring Variables.
Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!
You can create and use all sorts of variables in your macros. This tip examines all the different data types you can specify.Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.