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Understanding Arrays

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Arrays make it possible for you to refer to a series of variables by the same name and to use a number (an index) to tell them apart. This helps you create smaller and simpler code in many situations, because you can set up loops that deal efficiently with any number of cases by using the index number. Arrays are useful when you must store a number of values of the same type, but you do not know how many, or you do not want to create individual variables to store them all.

For example, suppose you must store a numeric value for every day of the year. You could declare 365 separate numeric variables, but that would be a lot of work. Instead, you can create an array to store all the data in one variable. The array itself is a single variable with multiple elements; each element can contain one piece of data.

You can use loops, together with a couple of special functions for working with arrays, to assign values to or retrieve values from the various elements of an array.

In This Section

Creating Arrays
Understand how to create two types of arrays in Microsoft® Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA) — fixed-size arrays and dynamic arrays.
Arrays and Variants
Learn how a Variant variable can store an array.
Assigning One Array to Another
Assign one array to another if two dynamic arrays have the same data type.
Returning an Array from a Function
Call a procedure that returns an array and assign it to another array.
Passing an Array to a Procedure
Declare an array in one procedure, and then pass that array to another procedure to be modified.
Sorting Arrays
Understand how to sort an array, which is an iterative process that requires a complex algorithm.
Using the Filter Function to Search String Arrays
Search a string array if you simply must know whether an item exists in the array by using the Filter function.
Using a Binary Search Function to Search Numeric Arrays
Learn how the binary-search algorithm performs efficient searching on a sorted array — whether numeric or string.
Searching a Dictionary
Use object programming constructs, such as For Each…Next and With…End With statements, to work with the Dictionary object.

Related Sections

Getting the Most Out of Visual Basic for Applications
Write code that is fast, efficient, easy to read and maintain, and, if possible, reusable with a solid working knowledge of Microsoft® Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA) — what features the language includes and what you can do with it.
Working with Strings
Understand how to get information from strings.
Working with Numbers
Learn how to use numeric values and data types in Microsoft® Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA).
Working with Dates and Times
Manipulate date values in Microsoft® Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA), and understand how VBA stores date values internally.
Working with Files
Understand the Scripting Runtime object library, and work with drives, folders, and files as objects.
Tips for Defining Procedures in VBA
Define a Function or Sub procedure, and use the options available to you to make your code more extensible or more flexible.
Optimizing VBA Code
Understand how to streamline your Microsoft® Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA) code to streamline your memory requirements.