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VBA String data type used to define string variables and store sequences of characters. This could be anything from a single character, like “a”, to a whole paragraph or even more. Strings are used to represent text rather than numbers.. In this blog post, we will focus on one particular data type – String.

Understanding VBA String DataType


The String data type is used to store text or a combination of text and numbers. It is declared using the keyword ‘String’ followed by the name of the variable, as shown below:

Dim variable_name As String

The variable_name can be any valid name that follows VBA naming conventions. It is important to note that the String data type in VBA is not limited to a fixed number of characters, unlike other programming languages. This means that it can hold a large amount of text without any limitations.


Strings are stored in a computer’s memory as a series of characters, with each character assigned a unique numeric code according to the ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) format. This allows strings to be easily read and manipulated by the computer.

Range of Values

Since the String data type in VBA can hold a large amount of text, it does not have a specific range of values. However, it is important to keep in mind that the more text a string contains, the more memory it will use, which can impact the performance of your code.


  • Mutable: Unlike some programming languages, strings in VBA are mutable. This means you can change the content of a string variable without reassigning the entire string.
  • Concatenation: Strings can be combined using the & operator. For example, “Hello” & ” World” results in “Hello World”.
  • Length Limit: The maximum length of a string in VBA is approximately 2 billion Unicode characters.

Common Operations

  • Finding Length: Use the Len function to determine the length of a string.
    • Dim strLength As Integer strLength = Len(Greeting)
  • Extracting Substrings: The Mid, Left, and Right functions help extract parts of a string.
  • Searching: The InStr function can be used to find the position of one string within another.
  • Replacement: The Replace function allows you to replace occurrences of a substring with another string.

Special Cases

  • Empty Strings: An empty string, represented as “”, is a string that contains no characters. It’s different from a Null value or an uninitialized string variable.
  • String Comparisons: By default, VBA string comparisons are case-insensitive. However, this behavior can be changed using the Option Compare statement.

Points to Remember

  • While strings are mutable in VBA, frequently modifying large strings can be inefficient due to the way memory allocation works. In such cases, consider using other techniques or structures like arrays.
  • Always be cautious when performing operations that assume a specific string format, especially when dealing with dates or numbers stored as strings.

Example VBA Codes

1. Concatenation

Concatenation is a process of combining two or more strings together to create a new string. In VBA, the ampersand (&) symbol is used for concatenation. Let’s take an example where we want to create a string that includes a person’s first and last name.

Dim first_name As String
Dim last_name As String

first_name = "John"
last_name = "Smith"

MsgBox "Welcome " & first_name & " " & last_name

The output of this code would be a message box that displays “Welcome John Smith”.

2. String Functions

VBA has a variety of built-in functions that can be used to manipulate strings. These functions make it easier to perform tasks such as finding and replacing specific text within a string, converting a string to uppercase or lowercase, and many others. Some commonly used string functions in VBA include Left, Right, Mid, InStr, and UCase. Let’s see an example of using the Left function to extract the first three characters of a string.

Dim full_name As String
Dim first_name As String

full_name = "John Smith"

first_name = Left(full_name,3)

MsgBox first_name

The output of this code would be a message box that displays “John”.

3. String Arrays

A string array is a collection of strings that can be accessed and manipulated using an index. Arrays can be used to store multiple strings in a single variable, making it easier to manage and process large amounts of data. Here’s an example of creating a string array with five elements and displaying each element in a message box.

Dim fruits(4) As String
Dim i As Integer

fruits(0) = "apple"
fruits(1) = "banana"
fruits(2) = "orange"
fruits(3) = "grape"
fruits(4) = "strawberry"

For i = 0 To 4
    MsgBox fruits(i)
Next i

The output of this code would be five message boxes, each displaying one of the fruits in the array.

4. String Input from User

VBA allows users to input data directly into a string variable using the InputBox function. This can be useful when creating macros that require user input, such as entering a file name or a specific value. Let’s see an example of using the InputBox function to ask a user to enter their age and then display it in a message box.

Dim age As String

age = InputBox("Please enter your age:")
MsgBox "Your age is: " & age

The output of this code would be a message box that displays the age entered by the user.

5. String Manipulation

VBA also allows for various string manipulation techniques, such as removing leading or trailing spaces, or extracting a substring from a larger string. These can be achieved using a combination of string functions and built-in methods. Let’s take the previous example of a person’s full name and use the Right function to extract their last name.

Dim full_name As String
Dim last_name As String

full_name = "John Smith"

last_name = Right(full_name, 5)

MsgBox last_name

The output of this code would be a message box that displays “Smith”.

Explaining and using the above examples, it is clear that the String data type in VBA is a versatile and powerful tool for manipulating text. It can be used in a variety of ways to make tasks quicker and easier, making it an integral part of any VBA programmer’s toolkit. Whether it is performing simple concatenation or using more complex techniques like string arrays, the String data type in VBA is a go-to when working with text data.

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Categories: VBA Data TypesLast Updated: October 6, 2023

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