VBA - Visual Basic for Applications

Handling of Date values can become very annoying. Especially, if Excel always thinks it knows better than the programmer or user *sigh*! Automation is meant to help people, not mess up their work.

In order to help me at least displaying date values in the correct format I implemented a little function to get a pattern string based on a users system locale settings.

' @Author - Alexander Bolte
' @Change Date - 2013-12-14
' @Description - Determines the date format of the system the application is running on.
' The Excel application is getting the date seperator and the format of date values
' from the systems locale settings.
' @Returns - A String holding literals for Day (dd), Month (mm) and Year (yyyy)
' in the order corresponding the systems locale setting separated using the locales date separator.
Function getDateFormat() As String
    Dim dateFormat As String
    Dim datOrder As Integer
    Dim datSeparator As String
On Error GoTo err_handler:
    datOrder = Application.International(xlDateOrder)
    datSeparator = Application.International(xlDateSeparator)
    If datOrder = 0 Then
        dateFormat = "mm" & datSeparator & "dd" & datSeparator & "yyyy"
    ElseIf datOrder = 1 Then
        dateFormat = "dd" & datSeparator & "mm" & datSeparator & "yyyy"
    ElseIf datOrder = 2 Then
        dateFormat = "yyyy" & datSeparator & "mm" & datSeparator & "dd"
    End If
    If Err.Number <> 0 Then
    End If
    getDateFormat = dateFormat
End Function

Excels behaviour can be quite annoying from time to time. One prime example is adjusting the row height of merged cells.

Normally you would think you can adjust the row height of a merged area the same way you adjust it for single cells.

Nope! No matter what you try it will not work properly.

However, below method can solve this issue partly for you. It will adjust the row height for a handed merged range of cells, but it only works for merged cells in one row. So, feel free to adjust this function to your needs and don't forget to share it with those who are in need ;0).

Source Code

' @Author - Alexander Bolte
' @Description - Adjusting the row height to content similar to Excel standard function for wrapping cell content.
' This method only works for merged cells accross one row.
' @Param rng - a Range object referencing a merged area.
Public Sub adjustRowHeightOfMergedCells(ByRef rng As Range)
Dim mergedWidth As Variant
Dim firstCell As Range
Dim newHeight As Double

If rng.MergeCells Then
mergedWidth = getColumnWidth(rng)
rng.MergeCells = False
Set firstCell = rng.Cells(1, 1)
firstCell.Columns.ColumnWidth = mergedWidth
firstCell.WrapText = True
newHeight = firstCell.EntireRow.Height
rng.MergeCells = True
rng.Columns.ColumnWidth = (mergedWidth / rng.Columns.Count)
' Only adjust a rows height, if the current row height is smaller
' than the new height needed to display merged cells content properly.
If rng.Rows.EntireRow.RowHeight < newHeight Then
rng.Rows.EntireRow.RowHeight = newHeight
End If
End If
End Sub

Ok, now that we can adjust the row height of merged cells in Excel VBA, we have one question to answer.

How do I find merged cells?

The answer can be found in the source code below.

' @Author - Alexander Bolte
' @Description - Running through the columns of the handed range's parent worksheet used range,
' checking each cell in the first row of handed range for a valid MergedArea attribute
' and then returning the MergedArea.
' @Param srcRow - a Range object referencing a row in an Excel worksheet.
' @Param startCol - an Integer providing the start column from which a search for merged cells should begin.
Public Function getMergedCells(ByRef srcRow As Range, ByVal startCol As Integer) As Range
Dim ws As Worksheet
Dim testCell As Range
Dim merged As Range
Dim i As Integer

Set ws = srcRow.Parent
For i = startCol To ws.UsedRange.Columns.Count
Set testCell = ws.Cells(srcRow.Row, i)
Set merged = testCell.MergeArea
If merged.Columns.Count > 1 Then
Exit For
Set merged = Nothing
End If
Next i

Set getMergedCells = merged
End Function

And how can you put both together? I prefer a method that uses recursion to run through the different columns in a given row but you can also run iteratively through the columns.

' @Author - Aleaxander Bolte
' @Description - Running recursively through an Excel row, adjusting the row height to all merged cells content, if the row height is not already greater than the new row height.
' @Param ws - a Worksheet object the change should be applied on.
' @Param trgRow - the target row the change should be applied on.
Private Sub adjustRowHeightToContent(ByRef ws As Worksheet, ByVal trgRow As Long)
Dim merged As Range

Set merged = xReusableCode.getMergedCells(ws.Rows(trgRow), 1)
' Stop condition for recursion.
If Not (merged Is Nothing) Then
' Adjust row height of merged cells.
Call adjustRowHeightOfMergedCells(merged)
' Call recursively.
Call adjustRowHeightToContent(ws, merged.Column + merged.Columns.Count - 1)
End If
End Sub

There you go, all done. Hope it helps, even if you only get a hint on how to do it yourself.

If you have to write an ado db recordset into an Excel worksheet, you have two basic options.

Either you write a recordset object using Excel API function copyFromRecordset or you write the data implementing an own method looping through all records.

However calling the function copyFromRecordset is pretty fast compared to looping through all records, it opposes the risk of incorrectly formatted data in a target worksheet. Root cause for this is the often failing attempt of ADO to guess a data type of a column in a source worksheet based on the first few records.

You can switch some optional parameter in a connection string called IMAX in order to have ADO take all records of a field in a recordset into account before guessing a field type, but this will lead only to incredible bad performance.

On top of that ADO is still likely to fail in guessing a field type of an Excel column even, if you use IMAX.


This category will hold articles regarding developement in Excel VBA. It will serve as a wiki and an Excel VBA Framework for myself.

Some development tasks reoccur for every customer. Since I am a lazy bum it will be nice to have a central source where I can reuse source code from.

This category holds articles regarding general things in MS Office VBA independent from the MS Office application.  

This category holds articles regarding Access VBA, but also general things I come accross Access and its usage in companies.