subscript out of range vba with code examples

VBA or Visual Basic for Applications is one of the commonly used programming languages for developing applications in Microsoft Office. Excel is one of the popular Office applications that use VBA for automation and customization purposes. VBA allows developers to create macros that automate tedious or repetitive tasks. However, like any other programming language, VBA can also have errors that can hinder the application's performance.

One of the common errors encountered in VBA is the "Subscript out of range" error message. In this article, we'll explore this error, its causes, and how to fix it.

Subscript Out of Range Error – What is it?

A subscript out of range error occurs when we try to access an array element or a worksheet range that doesn't exist, i.e., the index is either too high or too low. This can cause the VBA code to fail to execute, and the "Subscript out of range" error message will be displayed on the screen.

For example, let's say we have an array with three elements, and we are trying to access the fourth element.

Dim myArray(3) As Integer
myArray(4) = 10

This code will result in the "Subscript out of range" error because the array index starts from zero in VBA, and therefore, the valid index for this array is from 0 to 2.

Similarly, if we try to access a range that doesn't exist in the worksheet, we'll receive the same error message. For instance, let's try to select a range that doesn't exist.

Worksheets("Sheet1").Range("A1:C4").Select
Worksheets("Sheet1").Range("D5:F8").Select

This code will result in the "Subscript out of range" error message because the range "D5:F8" doesn't exist in the worksheet.

Common Causes of Subscript Out of Range Error

  1. Incorrect Indexing

As discussed earlier, the most common cause of the "Subscript out of range" error message is the use of incorrect indexing. The index should be within the valid range of indices for the array or the range in the worksheet.

  1. Using Non-Numeric Index

Indexes for arrays and ranges in VBA should be numeric. If we use a non-numeric index, such as a string or a boolean, we'll receive the "Subscript out of range" error message.

For example, let's say we have the following array.

Dim myArray("A", "B", "C") As Integer

This code will result in the "Subscript out of range" error because we are using non-numeric indexes.

  1. Using Incorrect Variables

If we use the wrong variables to access arrays or ranges, we'll receive the "Subscript out of range" error message. For example, let's say we have the following code.

Dim myArray(3) As Integer
Dim i As Integer
For j = 1 To 3
myArray(i) = j
Next j

This code will result in the "Subscript out of range" error message because we are using the wrong variable "i" instead of "j" to access the array.

  1. Mismatched Variables

If the variables we use to access the array or range have different data types, we'll receive the "Subscript out of range" error message. For example, let's say we have the following code.

Dim myArray(3) As Integer
Dim i As String
For j = 0 To 3
myArray(i) = j
Next j

This code will result in the "Subscript out of range" error message because we are using a string variable "i" instead of an integer to access the array.

How to Fix Subscript Out of Range Error

Now that we know the common causes of the "Subscript out of range" error message, let's look at how to fix it.

  1. Use Correct Indexing

We need to use the correct indexes to access arrays or ranges. We should ensure that the index is within the valid range of indices for the array or the range in the worksheet.

For example, if we have an array with 5 elements, the valid indices would be from 0 to 4, not from 1 to 5.

  1. Use Numeric Indexes

We should use numeric indexes to access arrays and ranges in VBA. Using non-numeric indexes will result in the "Subscript out of range" error.

  1. Use Correct Variables

We should use the correct variables to access arrays or ranges. We need to ensure that we use the correct variable names and that they have the correct data types.

  1. Use Dimension Statements

Using dimension statements at the beginning of the VBA code can help prevent the "Subscript out of range" error. We can use the "Dim" statement to declare and dimension arrays. For instance, we can declare an array with 5 elements using the following code.

Dim myArray(4) As Integer

This will ensure that we don't use an incorrect index to access the array.

  1. Use Option Base Statement

We can use the "Option Base" statement to specify the lower bound for arrays. By default, the lower bound is zero in VBA. However, we can change it to 1. Using option base can ensure that we don't use an incorrect index to access arrays.

Option Base 1
Dim myArray(5) As Integer

Conclusion

The "Subscript out of range" error message is a common error that occurs when we try to access an array element or a worksheet range that doesn't exist. We need to use correct indexing, numeric indexes, correct variables, dimension statements, and option base statement to avoid this error.

By following the tips discussed in this article, we can ensure that the VBA code runs smoothly and that we can avoid the "Subscript out of range" error message.

let's dive deeper into the topics we discussed earlier.

Correct Indexing

Using correct indexing is crucial to avoid the "Subscript out of range" error message. In VBA, arrays and ranges are zero-based, which means that the first element or cell has an index of 0. For instance, if we have an array with five elements, the valid indices would be 0 to 4.

We can use the "Ubound" function to get the highest valid index of the array. For example, let's say we have the following array.

Dim myArray(4) As Integer

We can get the highest valid index of this array using the following code.

Dim highestIndex As Integer
highestIndex = Ubound(myArray)

This will return the value 4, which is the highest valid index of the array.

Numeric Indexes

Indexes for arrays and ranges in VBA should be numeric. Using non-numeric indexes, such as strings or booleans, will result in the "Subscript out of range" error message.

However, we can use the "Val" function to convert a string into a number. For example, let's say we have the following array.

Dim myArray(4) As Integer

We can access the second element of this array using the following code.

Dim index As String
index = "1"
myArray(Val(index)) = 10

This will assign the value 10 to the second element of the array.

Correct Variables

Using correct variables is essential to access arrays and ranges in VBA. We need to ensure that we use the correct variable names and that they have the correct data types.

For example, let's say we have the following code.

Dim myArray(4) As Integer
Dim i As String
For j = 0 To 4
myArray(i) = j
Next j

This code will result in the "Subscript out of range" error message because we are using the wrong variable "i" instead of "j" to access the array.

We can fix this error by using the correct variable name. For instance, we can modify the code as follows.

Dim myArray(4) As Integer
Dim j As Integer
For j = 0 To 4
myArray(j) = j
Next j

Now, the code will assign the values 0 to 4 to the array elements.

Dimension Statements

Using dimension statements at the beginning of the VBA code can help prevent the "Subscript out of range" error. We can use the "Dim" statement to declare and dimension arrays. For example, we can declare an array with five elements using the following code.

Dim myArray(4) As Integer

This will ensure that we don't use an incorrect index to access the array. If we try to access the sixth element of this array, we'll receive the "Subscript out of range" error message.

Option Base Statement

We can use the "Option Base" statement to specify the lower bound for arrays. By default, the lower bound is zero in VBA. However, we can change it to 1. Using option base can ensure that we don't use an incorrect index to access arrays.

For example, let's say we want to create an array with five elements, and we want the lower bound to be 1 instead of 0. We can use the following code.

Option Base 1
Dim myArray(5) As Integer

Now, the valid indices for this array will be 1 to 5, not 0 to 4.

Conclusion

Using correct indexing, numeric indexes, correct variables, dimension statements, and option base statement are essential to avoid the "Subscript out of range" error message in VBA. By following these tips, we can ensure that the VBA code runs smoothly and that we can avoid this error.

Popular questions

  1. What is the "Subscript out of range" error message in VBA?
    Answer: The "Subscript out of range" error message in VBA occurs when we try to access an array element or a worksheet range that doesn't exist, i.e., the index is either too high or too low.

  2. What are the common causes of the "Subscript out of range" error message in VBA?
    Answer: The common causes of the "Subscript out of range" error message in VBA are incorrect indexing, using non-numeric indexes, using incorrect variables, and mismatched data types.

  3. How can we use the "Ubound" function to get the highest valid index of an array in VBA?
    Answer: We can use the "Ubound" function in VBA to get the highest valid index of an array. For example, if we have an array with five elements, the valid indices would be 0 to 4, and we can get the highest valid index using the Ubound function as follows:

Dim myArray(4) As Integer
Dim highestIndex As Integer
highestIndex = Ubound(myArray)

  1. What is the role of option base statement in VBA?
    Answer: The Option Base statement in VBA is used to specify the lower bound for arrays. By default, the lower bound is zero in VBA, but we can change it using the Option Base statement. This can help prevent the "Subscript out of range" error message.

  2. How can we prevent the "Subscript out of range" error message in VBA?
    Answer: We can prevent the "Subscript out of range" error message in VBA by using correct indexing, numeric indexes, correct variables, dimension statements, and the Option Base statement. By following these tips, we can ensure that the VBA code runs smoothly and that we can avoid this error.

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As a seasoned software engineer, I bring over 7 years of experience in designing, developing, and supporting Payment Technology, Enterprise Cloud applications, and Web technologies. My versatile skill set allows me to adapt quickly to new technologies and environments, ensuring that I meet client requirements with efficiency and precision. I am passionate about leveraging technology to create a positive impact on the world around us. I believe in exploring and implementing innovative solutions that can enhance user experiences and simplify complex systems. In my previous roles, I have gained expertise in various areas of software development, including application design, coding, testing, and deployment. I am skilled in various programming languages such as Java, Python, and JavaScript and have experience working with various databases such as MySQL, MongoDB, and Oracle.
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