Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. 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 June 1, 2019)

1

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, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. 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

Alphabetic Column Designation

Want to know the letters assigned by Excel to a particular column? Excel normally deals with column numbers, but you can ...

Discover More

Creating a Split Page

In WordPerfect terminology, a split page allows you to put information side-by-side on opposite halves of the page. If ...

Discover More

Removing a Macro from a Shortcut Key

When you assign a macro to a shortcut key, you make it easy to run the macro without ever removing your hands from the ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

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

Loading Unwanted Files at Startup

Imagine how painful it would be if every time you started Excel it tried to load all the files in your root directory? ...

Discover More

Importing Multiple Files to a Single Workbook

If you use Excel to work with data exported from another program, you might be interested in a way to import a large ...

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 1 + 7?

2019-06-03 10:31:50

Jeff C

If you don't necessarily need to open and process the file, command FileLen also works:

FileLen("MyFile.dat")


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.