Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Declaring Variables.

Declaring Variables

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 31, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


If you have ever programmed any macros, you are probably familiar with how you define variables using the Dim keyword. For instance, you can define an integer variable with the name MyVar as follows:

Dim MyVar As Integer

This is very straightforward, and will work fine in your code. To save a few lines in your code you may be tempted to define multiple variables per line:

Dim x, y, z As Integer

In some versions of the BASIC language, this will define and initialize three variables, each as an integer. In VBA it also appears to run properly, and no error is generated. However, there is a small problem—only the last variable (z) is actually defined as an integer. You can see how this works by using the following code:

Sub DimTest()
    Dim x, y, z As Integer
    Dim sTemp As String

    sTemp = "x is type " & VarType(x) & vbCrLf
    sTemp = sTemp & "y is type " & VarType(y) & vbCrLf
    sTemp = sTemp & "z is type " & VarType(z)

    MsgBox sTemp
End Sub

When you run the macro, the message box shows that the variable type for x and y are 0, which means that the variable is a variant (the default data type for undeclared variables). Only the last message box (for z) shows a variable type of 2, meaning an integer.

The solution is to make sure that you declare your variables one per line, or using the full syntax for each variable, as in the following:

Dim x As Integer, y As Integer, z As Integer

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 (12427) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Declaring Variables.

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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