Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Determining the Length of a Text File.

Determining the Length of a Text File

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 10, 2018)

Other ExcelTips have discussed opening, reading, writing, appending, and closing text files. Another VBA function associated with sequential text files is the LOF function. If used on an open file, it returns the length of the file, in bytes. In other words, you can determine the number of characters in the file.

This can come in handy if you are processing a text file character by character. You can determine the length of the file and then read that many characters before you finish processing the file. The following code fragment is an example of how the LOF function is used:

Open "MyFile.Dat" for Input as #1
FileLen = LOF(1)

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 (9094) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Determining the Length of a Text 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Comment Dates Updated Inappropriately

Using the comment capabilities of Word is a common occurrence when developing a document. What do you do, however, if the ...

Discover More

Displaying the Start Menu Using the Keyboard

Need to get to the Start menu, but hate taking your hands off the keyboard? Here are two quick ways you can display the ...

Discover More

Putting an X in a Clicked Cell

Need to click on a cell and have it replaced with an "X"? Macros make it easy to do, as illustrated in this tip.

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 (ribbon)

Error Opening Second Workbook

If you try to open a second workbook and you see an error message, it could be because of the way you are opening the ...

Discover More

CSV File Opens with Data in a Single Column

When you import a CSV file into an Excel worksheet, you may be surprised at how the program allocates the information ...

Discover More

Correctly Saving Delimited Files

Delimited files are often created through Excel so that your data can be exported to other programs. If the delimited ...

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 six minus 5?

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 ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu 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.