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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
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    Syntax Question (Any)

    In my recent forays into VBA, I was reminded of a question I've had for a long time and have never found an answer to.

    What is the dollar sign ($) used for and what difference does it make? For example both Mid and $Mid exist in the help files, but they both lead you to the same explanation of the Mid function. Is there a time when one should be used over another?


  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Thanked 28 Times in 28 Posts

    Re: Syntax Question (Any)

    The functions whose names end in $ always return a string, while their counterparts without the $ return a variant (that is a string in most situations).

    The versions with $ will cause an error on Null values, the versions without can handle Nulls. Example:

    Dim varName As Variant
    varName = "Peter"

    Mid(varName, 3, 2) and Mid$(varName, 2, 2) both return "te"

    but after

    varName = Null

    Mid(varName, 3, 2) returns Null and Mid$(varName, 3, 2) causes an error message "Invalid use of Null".

    If you know in advance that you're working with valid strings only (they may be equal to the empty string ""), the versions with $ are more efficient, because they have to do less type checking. If Nulls can occur, you're better of with the versions without $.

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