Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 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: Quickly Dumping Array Contents.

Quickly Dumping Array Contents

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 31, 2024)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


If you have done any programming in VBA, you know the value of using variable arrays to store information. It is not uncommon to start working with large arrays in your macros. For instance, you might declare a 100-element string array, as follows:

Dim MyText(99) As String

As your macro executes, information can be stored and restored in the elements of the array. At some point, you may want to erase all the information in the array. One classic way of doing this is using a For ... Next loop to step through each array element, as follows:

For J = 0 To 99
    MyText(J) = ""
Next J

When the looping is complete, everything has been erased from the array. A quicker way of accomplishing the same task is to use the Erase function, as follows:

Erase MyText

Once executed, this single line sets each element of the MyText array back to an empty string. If the array is numeric, then each element of the array is set to zero.

There is one caveat with using the Erase function: If the array being erased were originally dimensioned at run time using the ReDim statement, then Erase gets rid of the dimensions and you'll need to use ReDim again to set them.

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 (9393) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Quickly Dumping Array Contents.

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

Importing a Text File and Inserting after a Bookmark

Word macros are a great way to automate some of the ways in which you create documents. If you have a need to insert the ...

Discover More

Word Graphics

One effective way to enhance your documents is with Word's powerful graphics capabilities. Discover how to best utilize ...

Discover More

Saving Grammar Preferences with a Document

The grammar checking tool in Word can be helpful in developing a finished, polished document. You may want to share your ...

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)

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

E-mailing PDF Reports Results in Consistent Crash

It is possible to create macros that send out reports, via e-mail, from within Excel. Frank did this and ran into ...

Discover More

Limiting Scroll Area

If you need to limit the cells that are accessible by the user of a worksheet, VBA can come to the rescue. This doesn't ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 nine less than 9?

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.