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Set Visual Basic Environment Options

Office 2010
This page is specific to the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) Language Reference for Office 2010.

You can set the behavior and look of the Visual Basic development environment through the Options dialog box. Use the:

  • Editor tab to specify Code window and Project window settings.

  • Editor Format tab to specify the appearance of your code.

  • General tab to specify form, error handling, and compile settings for your project.

  • Docking tab to specify whether a window is attached or "anchored" to one edge of other dockable or application windows.

To set Environment options

  • On the Tools menu of the Visual Basic editor, click Options. Each option is described in the following tables.




Auto Syntax Check

Visual Basic automatically verifies correct syntax after you enter a line of code.

Require Variable Declaration

Explicit variable declarations are required in modules.

Auto Indent

After tabbing the first line of code, all subsequent lines start at that tab location.

Tab Width

The tab width, which can range from 1 – 32 spaces. (Default is 4 spaces.)

Default to Full Module View

Procedures for new modules are displayed in the Code window as a single, scrollable list or one procedure at a time.

Procedure Separator

Display separator bars at the end of each procedure in the Code window.

Auto List Members

At the insertion point, Visual Basic displays information that logically completes a statement.

Auto Quick Info

Information about functions and their arguments is displayed as you type.

Auto Data Tips

Automatically display the value of any variable on which you place the mouse pointer. Available only in break mode.

Drag-Drop in Text Editing

Code elements can be dragged from the Code window into the Immediate or Watch windows.

Editor Format



Foreground, Background, and Indicator

The color of different categories of text listed in the Code Colors list.


The font used for displaying code.


The size of the font used for code.

Margin Indicator Bar

Display the Margin Indicator Bar.




Show Grid

Display a grid on a form.

Grid Units

Lists the unit of measurement for units in the grid.


The width of the grid cells on a form.


The height of the grid cells on a form.

Align Controls to Grid

Automatically position the outer edge of controls on the closest grid lines.

Show ToolTips

Display ToolTips for toolbar buttons.

Collapse Proj. Hides Windows

Automatically close the project, UserForm, object, or module windows when a project is collapsed in the Project Explorer.

Notify Before State Loss

Display a message that a requested action will cause all module-level variables to be reset for a running project.

Break on All Errors

Any error causes the project to enter break mode, whether or not an error handler is active, and whether or not the code is in a class module.

Break in Class Module

Any unhandled error produced in a class module causes the project to enter break mode at the line of code which produced the error.

Break on Unhandled Errors

Any other unhandled error causes the project to enter break mode.

Compile On Demand

A project is fully compiled before it starts, or code is compiled as needed.

Background Compile

Use idle time during run time to finish compiling the project in the background. (Available only if Compile On Demand is set.)




The check box for the appropriate window

A window can be anchored to an adjacent dockable window or the Visual Basic Editor window.

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