VBA Helpers

 

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VBA Helpers is a collection of useful VBA functions.

I developed them for use in MS Access (and I developed and tested them in MS Access, too), but most of them should work in other MS Office programs as well.


Links


Setup

VBA Helpers consists of a single VBA file, vba-helpers.bas, which you can just import into your application.
Right-click and "Save as" to save it on your machine. To import:

  • if you are using VBA Helpers for the first time, import the downloaded file from the VBA editor
    (if Access asks you for a module name, name it VBAHelpers)
  • if your project already contains VBA Helpers and you want to replace it with the newer version, you can put the new file in the same folder as your Access database and run the VBAHelpers_Update function.

Reference

Most of the functions are named after (and do the same like) useful functions in .NET that I missed in VBA.
Here is a short summary of the available functions and what they do in a nutshell:

  • Directory_Exists
    Returns True if the specified directory exists.

  • Environment_AccessVersion
    Returns an Enum which contains the version of the current msaccess.exe.

  • Environment_MachineName
    Returns the name of the local computer.

  • Environment_UserName
    Returns the name of the current logged on Windows user.

  • File_Delete
    Deletes a file. If the file does not exist, nothing happens.

  • File_Exists
    Returns True if the specified file exists.

  • File_ReadAllLines
    Reads a text file and returns a string array, each array item containing a line from the file.

  • File_ReadAllText
    Reads a text file and returns the content in a string variable.

  • File_WriteAllLines
    Writes the content of a string array into a text file, each array item into a new line.

  • File_WriteAllText
    Writes the content of a string variable into a text file.

  • InputBox_PressedCancel
    Receives the return value of an InputBox, returns True when the input was canceled.
    Normally you can't distinguish whether you cancelled the input or submitted an empty string - the InputBox returns an empty string in both cases.
    Example: InputBox_PressedCancel(InputBox("foo")) returns True when you press Cancel, and False when you press OK without entering a value.

  • Path_Combine
    Combines several strings into a path and takes care of directory separators.
    Example: path_combine("c:\","\foo","bar") will return c:\foo\bar

  • Path_GetCurrentDirectory
    Returns the directory of the current Access database.

  • Path_GetExtension
    Receives a complete path, returns only the extension.

  • Path_GetDirectoryName
    Receives a complete path, returns only the directory.

  • Path_GetFileName
    Receives a complete path, returns only the file name.

  • Path_GetFileNameWithoutExtension
    Receives a complete path, returns only the file name without extension.

  • Path_GetTempPath
    Returns the current user's temp folder.

  • Process_Start
    Executes a file. If the file itself is not an application, it will be started with the default application (as if you double-clicked it in Windows Explorer).
    Use the optional parameters to supply command-line arguments to the executed file, and to open the file hidden (without a visible window - useful for executing command-line tools)

  • String_Contains
    Returns True if the second parameter occurs within the first parameter.
    Example: String_Contains("abc", "ab") will return True

  • String_EndsWith
    Returns True if the second parameter matches the end of the first parameter.
    Example: String_EndsWith("abc", "bc") will return True

  • String_Format
    Replaces numbered placeholders ({0}, {1}, ...) in the first parameter by the corresponding value from the additional parameter list.
    Example: String_Format("Hello {0}", "world") will return Hello world

  • String_IsNullOrEmpty
    Returns True when the input is either Null or an empty string.
    (note: a VBA string can't be Null, but the function is called String_ anyway to keep the naming consistent)

  • String_IsNullOrWhiteSpace
    Returns True when the input is either Null, an empty string or consists of whitespace characters (blanks) only.
    (note: a VBA string can't be Null, but the function is called String_ anyway to keep the naming consistent)

  • String_PadLeft
    Right-aligns the first string parameter by padding it on the left with the second string parameter, up to the total specified width.
    Example: String_PadLeft("foo",5,"a") will return aafoo

  • String_PadRight
    Left-aligns the first string parameter by padding it on the right with the second string parameter, up to the total specified width.
    Example: String_PadRight("foo",5,"a") will return fooaa

  • String_StartsWith
    Returns True if the second parameter matches the beginning of the first parameter.
    Example: String_StartsWith("abc", "ab") will return True

  • VBAHelpers_Update
    Updates VBA Helpers to newer version by importing a downloaded file (file must be in same folder as current Access database). See "Setup" above for more information.


Development

Importing the modules into a .mdb for the first time

  1. If you are starting from scratch, you need to import the three .bas files from the repository's into an Access database first.
    Important: VBAHelpersTests needs to be a class module. The other two need to be "regular" modules.
  2. Add references to AccUnit Access/VBA TestSuite and SimplyVBUnit Framework 3.0.

Coding Guidelines

Unfortunately, VBA globally changes the case of variable names when you mix upper/lower case.
This is very annoying when using source control.
It's even worse when VBA Helpers is imported into another VBA project, and the case of the variables in this project is changed because some of them happened to have the same names like some of the VBA Helpers variables.

To avoid this, all variable names in VBA Helpers must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • lower case only
  • suffixed by _vbah (for "VBA Helpers"), e.g. foo_vbah

This should minimize the chance of variable names from VBA Helpers colliding with variable names in your application.

Committing changes

Run VBAHelpers_Export to export all modules to the current directory, and commit them from there.


Acknowledgements

VBA Helpers makes use of the following open source projects:


License

VBA Helpers is licensed under the MIT License. See License.txt for details.


Project Info