Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Checking for the Existence of a File.

Checking for the Existence of a File

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 17, 2016)

7

John has a column of invoice numbers in a worksheet. He has a directory on the network where staff save a PDF of the actual invoice and name it using the same invoice number that is in the worksheet. Each invoice number in the worksheet should have a correspondingly named PDF in the directory on the network. John is looking for a way, within Excel, to check and verify that a PDF really does exist for each invoice number.

There is no way to do this using built-in Excel commands. You can, however, create a macro that will do the checking for you. For instance, consider the following simple user-defined function:

Function FileExists1(sPath As String)
    FileExists = Dir(sPath) <> ""
End Function

The routine simply returns a True or False value, based on whether the specified file exists. The value that is passed to the function needs to include a full path and file name. For example, if the file specification (including the path) were in cell A1, you could use the following in a cell:

=FileExists1(A1)

You may not, however, want to put the full path name into the cell. In that case, you could specify it in the actual formula, in this way:

=FileExists1("c:\your\path\here\" & A1 & ".pdf")

Of course, you could instead specify the path in the user-defined function:

Function FileExists2(sFile As String)
    sPath = "c:\your\path\here\" & sFile & ".pdf"
    FileExists = Dir(sPath) <> ""
End Function

With such a function you could easily create a formula in your worksheet that would "flag" any invoices missing from the directory:

=IF(FileExists2(A1),"","Missing Invoice")

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7402) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Checking for the Existence of a File.

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. ...

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Comments

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What is three minus 2?

2016-08-19 11:45:57

Michael Heavener

Is there a macro that will flag files in the folders as changed or tell me when new ones are added. I can set alerts in SharePoint but it would also be nice to not hand-add them to the Excel tracker.


2016-08-18 02:29:55

SALU

ITS NOT WORKING.....


2016-08-17 08:45:32

ovi

there is any method to make excel to look in all folders contained by a specified location if the searched file exists without specifying full path. For example to check if file "file1.pdf" exists in any of the folders contained by "c:main folder" ?


2016-03-17 09:45:26

Kpax7

OK, Got it working. You should press Alt+Ctrl+Shift+F9 to force excel to calculate all formulas otherwise it still says missing invoice.
Using Office 2013

Thanks


2016-03-17 09:30:07

Kpax7

Not working, not even with GB's suggestion.


2015-03-05 10:44:39

GB

It looks like there is an error in the code.

Try:

Function FileExists1(sPath As String)
FileExists1 = Dir(sPath) <> ""
End Function


2014-08-21 05:00:15

Olav

Dear,

I won't get it working:).
Do you have a example sheet?


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