The VBA GetObject function is a powerful tool that allows users to access objects created by other applications or programs. This function falls under the ‘Object’ category in VBA, which refers to any item or element that can be accessed or manipulated within a project. The GetObject function serves as a bridge between VBA and other applications, allowing for seamless integration and automation.
VBA GetObject Function – Purpose, Syntax and Arguments
The main purpose of the GetObject function is to retrieve a reference to an object created by another application. This allows VBA code to access and manipulate properties, methods, and events of the external object, providing a wide range of possibilities for automation and data manipulation.
As seen from the syntax, the GetObject function takes two arguments: the Pathname and Class of the object. The Pathname argument is the full file path and name of the object that needs to be accessed. The Class argument refers to the application or program that created the object. It is important to note that the Class argument may not be required in some cases.
- Pathname: The full file path and name of the object being accessed. e.g. “C:\Users\John\Desktop\MyReport.xlsx”.
- Class: (Optional) The application or program that created the object. e.g. “Excel.Application”. If not specified, the function will try to use an already open instance of the class specified by the first argument.
Suppose we have a macro that needs to retrieve data from a closed Excel file. We can use the GetObject function to retrieve a reference to the workbook and then manipulate its data. The following code demonstrates this:
Dim wb As Workbook
Dim dataSheet As Worksheet
'Retrieve the closed workbook object
Set wb = GetObject("C:\Users\John\Desktop\MyReport.xlsx", "Excel.Application")
'Set the data sheet in the active workbook
Set dataSheet = ThisWorkbook.Sheets("Data")
'Copy data from closed workbook to data sheet
- The GetObject function works only with well-structured objects and may not work with custom or user-created objects.
- If the Class argument is not specified, the function will try to use an open instance of the application or program specified by the Pathname argument. If there are multiple instances of the same class open, the function will use the first available instance.
- If the file specified in the Pathname argument is not found or cannot be accessed, the function will throw an error.
- The GetObject function has some limitations and may not work with all applications or objects. It is always recommended to test the function for compatibility before using it in a production environment.
- For better performance, it is recommended to use the GetObject function with already open instances of the desired application or program.
- The function can also be used to retrieve a reference to an open instance of the application or program by specifying only the class argument. e.g. Set obj = GetObject(, “Excel.Application”)
- If the specified object is a file other than an Office application, the retrieved reference will be of the ‘Dispatch’ type, which provides limited access to the object’s properties and methods. More specialized methods may be required for full access.
The GetObject function is a versatile tool in VBA that allows access to external objects, providing new possibilities for automation and data manipulation. It is important to understand its limitations and use it carefully for best results.
Understanding VBA GetObject Function with Examples
Example 1: Opening an Existing Excel File
The GetObject function in VBA allows you to open an existing file and create an object that represents that file. This is especially useful if you need to work with multiple files at once or you want to automate certain tasks. Let’s take a look at how we can use the GetObject function to open an existing Excel file.
Dim myFile As Object
Set myFile = GetObject("C:\Users\JohnDoe\Desktop\Report.xlsx")
- The first line declares a variable called myFile as an object. This will be used to represent the Excel file we are opening.
- In the second line, we use the GetObject function and pass the file path of the Excel file we want to open as an argument. In this case, the file path is “C:\Users\JohnDoe\Desktop\Report.xlsx”.
- Finally, we use the Set keyword to assign the returned value of the GetObject function to our myFile variable.
You can now use the myFile variable to perform tasks on the opened Excel file, such as reading data or making changes to the file.
Example 2: Opening a Specific Worksheet in an Excel File
The GetObject function can also be used to open a specific worksheet within an Excel file. Let’s say we have an Excel file with multiple sheets and we want to open the Summary sheet.
Dim mySheet As Object
Set mySheet = GetObject("C:\Users\JohnDoe\Desktop\Report.xlsx").Sheets("Summary")
- Similar to the previous example, we declare a variable called mySheet as an object.
- In the second line, we use the GetObject function to open the Excel file and then use the dot notation to specify which sheet we want to open. In this case, we want to open the Summary sheet.
- Again, we use the Set keyword to assign the returned value of the GetObject function to our mySheet variable.
You can now perform operations on the mySheet variable, such as extracting data or formatting the sheet.
Example 3: Creating a New Word Document
The GetObject function can also be used to create a new object. Let’s see how we can use it to create a new Word document.
Dim myDoc As Object
Set myDoc = GetObject("", "Word.Application")
- In this example, we declare a variable called myDoc as an object.
- We then use the GetObject function and pass an empty string as the first argument. This tells VBA that we want to create a new object rather than open an existing one.
- In the second argument, we specify which application we want the object to be. In this case, we want to create a new Word document, so we use “Word.Application”.
- Once again, we use the Set keyword to assign the returned value of the GetObject function to our myDoc variable.
Now, we can use the myDoc variable to perform tasks on the newly created Word document, such as adding content or formatting the document.
Example 4: Retrieving an Object from the Clipboard
The GetObject function can also be used to retrieve an object from the clipboard. This can be useful if you need to work with data that has been copied or cut from another application.
Dim myPPT As Object
Set myPPT = GetObject(, "PowerPoint.Application")
- In this example, we declare a variable called myPPT as an object.
- We use the GetObject function and leave the first argument blank. This tells VBA to retrieve the object from the clipboard.
- In the second argument, we specify which application the object is from. In this case, we want to retrieve a PowerPoint object, so we use “PowerPoint.Application”.
- Using the Set keyword, we assign the returned value of the GetObject function to our myPPT variable.
Now, we can use the myPPT variable to perform tasks on the PowerPoint object retrieved from the clipboard.
The GetObject function in VBA is a versatile tool that allows you to open or create objects from various applications. By understanding how to use this function, you can automate tasks and make your VBA code more efficient and powerful. Remember to always use the Set keyword when assigning the returned value of the GetObject function to a variable. This will ensure that the object is properly assigned and can be used in your code.