How to use Line Input # statement in VBA?

The Line Input # statement in VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) is used to read an entire line of text from a file opened in Input mode. Unlike the Input # statement, which reads data in a specific format, Line Input # reads everything from the file as a string until it encounters a newline character. This makes it especially useful for reading text files line by line.

Steps to Use Line Input #

  • Open the File: First, you must open the file using the Open statement.
  • Read Data Using Line Input #: Once the file is open, you can use Line Input # to read each line as a string.
  • Close the File: Always close the file after you’re done reading from it.


Here’s an example of how to use Line Input # in VBA:

Sub ReadFileLineByLine()
    Dim filePath As String
    Dim fileNum As Integer
    Dim fileLine As String

    filePath = "C:\path\to\your\file.txt"  ' Specify the file path
    fileNum = FreeFile()                   ' Get an available file number

    ' Open the file for input
    Open filePath For Input As #fileNum

    ' Read each line from the file
    Do While Not EOF(fileNum)
        Line Input #fileNum, fileLine
        MsgBox fileLine  ' Display each line in a message box (or process as needed)

    ' Close the file
    Close #fileNum
End Sub

In this example:

  • The filePath variable is set to the full path of the file you want to read.
  • We use FreeFile() to get a free file number and open the file for input.
  • The Do While Not EOF(fileNum) loop continues to read each line from the file until the end of the file (EOF) is reached.
  • Line Input # is used to read each line into the fileLine variable.
  • After reading, we close the file with Close #fileNum.

Important Points

  • Whole Line as String: Line Input # reads the entire line up to the newline character as a single string.
  • No Parsing: It does not parse the data in any way, which makes it different from Input #.
  • Handling Newlines: The newline character itself is not included in the string read by Line Input #.
  • EOF (End Of File): The EOF function is used to check if the end of the file has been reached to prevent an endless loop.
  • Error Handling: It’s good practice to include error handling, especially when dealing with file operations, to manage situations like files not existing or being inaccessible.

Line Input # is particularly useful for reading text files where data is structured in lines, such as log files or simple text data files.

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