Working with Range Objects
A common task when using Visual Basic is to specify an area in a document and then do something with it, such as insert text or apply formatting. For example, you may want to write a macro that locates a word or phrase within a portion of a document. The portion of the document can be represented by a Range object. After the Range object is identified, methods and properties of the Range object can be applied in order to modify the contents of the range.
A Range object refers to a contiguous area in a document. Each Range object is defined by a starting and ending character position. Similar to the way bookmarks are used in a document, Range objects are used in Visual Basic procedures to identify specific portions of a document. A Range object can be as small as the insertion point or as large as the entire document. However, unlike a bookmark, a Range object only exists while the procedure that defined it is running.
The Start , End and StoryType properties uniquely identify a Range object. The Start and End properties return or set the starting and ending character positions of the Range object. The character position at the beginning of the document is zero, the position after the first character is one, and so on. There are eleven different story types represented by the WdStoryType constants of the StoryType property.
Note Range objects are independent of the selection. That is, you can define and modify a range without changing the current selection. You can also define multiple ranges in a document, while there is only one selection per document pane.
Using the Range method
The Range method is used to create a Range object in the specified document. The Range method (which is available from the Document object) returns a Range object located in the main story given a start and end point. The following example creates a Range object that is assigned to a variable.
Sub SetNewRange() Dim rngDoc As Range Set rngDoc = ActiveDocument.Range(Start:=0, End:=10) End Sub
The variable refers to the first ten characters in the active document. You can see that the Range object has been created when you apply a property or method to the Range object stored in a variable. The following example applies bold formatting to the first ten characters in the active document.
Sub SetBoldRange() Dim rngDoc As Range Set rngDoc = ActiveDocument.Range(Start:=0, End:=10) rngDoc.Bold = True End Sub
When you need to refer to a Range object multiple times, you can use the Set statement to set a variable equal to the Range object. However, if you only need to perform a single action on a Range object, there's no need to store the object in a variable. The same results can be achieved using just one instruction that identifies the range and changes the Bold property.
Sub BoldRange() ActiveDocument.Range(Start:=0, End:=10).Bold = True End Sub
Like a bookmark, a range can span a group of characters or mark a location in a document. The Range object in the following example has the same starting and ending points. The range does not include any text. The following example inserts text at the beginning of the active document.
Sub InsertTextBeforeRange() Dim rngDoc As Range Set rngDoc = ActiveDocument.Range(Start:=0, End:=0) rngDoc.InsertBefore "Hello " End Sub
You can define the beginning and end points of a range using the character position numbers as shown above, or use the Start and End properties with objects such as Selection , Bookmark , or Range. The following example creates a Range object beginning at the start of the second paragraph and ending after the third paragraph.
Sub NewRange() Dim doc As Document Dim rngDoc As Range Set doc = ActiveDocument Set rngDoc = doc.Range(Start:=doc.Paragraphs(2).Range.Start, _ End:=doc.Paragraphs(3).Range.End) End Sub
For additional information and examples, see the Range method.
Using the Range property
The Range property appears on multiple objects, such as Paragraph , Bookmark , and Cell , and is used to return a Range object. The following example returns a Range object that refers to the first paragraph in the active document.
Sub SetParagraphRange() Dim rngParagraph As Range Set rngParagraph = ActiveDocument.Paragraphs(1).Range End Sub
After you have a Range object, you can use any of its properties or methods to modify the Range object. The following example selects the second paragraph in the active document and then centers the selection.
Sub FormatRange() ActiveDocument.Paragraphs(2).Range.Select Selection.ParagraphFormat.Alignment = wdAlignParagraphCenter End Sub
If you need to apply numerous properties or methods to the same Range object, you can use the With…End With structure. The following example formats the text in the first paragraph of the active document.
Sub FormatFirstParagraph() Dim rngParagraph As Range Set rngParagraph = ActiveDocument.Paragraphs(1).Range With rngParagraph .Bold = True .ParagraphFormat.Alignment = wdAlignParagraphCenter With .Font .Name = "Stencil" .Size = 15 End With End With End Sub
For additional information and examples, see the Range property topic.
Redefining a Range object
Use the SetRange method to redefine an existing Range object. The following example defines a range as the current selection. The SetRange method then redefines the range so that it refers to current selection plus the next ten characters.
Sub ExpandRange() Dim rngParagraph As Range Set rngParagraph = Selection.Range rngParagraph.SetRange Start:=rngParagraph.Start, _ End:=rngParagraph.End + 10 End Sub
For additional information and examples, see the SetRange method.
Note When debugging your macros, you can use the Select method to ensure that a Range object is referring to the correct range of text. For example, the following example selects a Range object, which refers the second and third paragraphs in the active document, and then formats the font of the selection.
Sub SelectRange() Dim rngParagraph As Range Set rngParagraph = ActiveDocument.Paragraphs(2).Range rngParagraph.SetRange Start:=rngParagraph.Start, _ End:=ActiveDocument.Paragraphs(3).Range.End rngParagraph.Select Selection.Font.Italic = True End Sub