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Microsoft KB Archive/106388

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WD: Using SetDocumentVar to Store Variables in Documents

Article ID: 106388

Article Last Modified on 11/23/2006


  • Microsoft Word 6.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 6.0a
  • Microsoft Word 6.0c
  • Microsoft Word 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 95a
  • Microsoft Word 6.0 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Word 6.01 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Word 6.01 for Macintosh

This article was previously published under Q106388


This article describes how to set and retrieve document variables using Microsoft Word.


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You can use the Microsoft WordBasic SetDocumentVar command to set a string variable into a Word document or template. Document variables are similar to key names in a private settings file and are retrieved using the GetDocumentVar$() function. You can only set and access document variables using the WordBasic instructions SetDocumentVar and GetDocumentVar$().

The following sample macro uses the SetDocumentVar statement to store the contents of the A$ string variable with the current document under the name "FullName." When the string value needs to be returned, the GetDocumentVar$ function is used with the document variable name "FullName."

NOTE: Document variables that are added to a template are stored in all new documents that are based on the template.

   Sub MAIN
      A$ = "Jeff Smith"
      SetDocumentVar "FullName", A$   'Set contents of A$ in document
      Name$ = GetDocumentVar$("FullName")   'retrieves contents of variable
      Msgbox Name$
   End Sub

To ensure that the document variable has been set correctly, use the SetDocumentVar() function instead of the statement form. The SetDocumentVar() function returns -1 if the document variable was set successfully.

For example:

   Sub MAIN
      A$ = "Jeff Smith"
      n = SetDocumentVar("FullName", A$)   'Set contents of A$ in document
      If n = -1 then
         Name$ = GetDocumentVar$("FullName")'retrieves contents of variable
         Msgbox Name$
         Msgbox "Document variable not set."
      End If
   End Sub

After a macro is finished running, the values of the macro variables are not saved. If you need to preserve a value between sessions of a macro, you can store values using any of the following methods:

  • Use SetPrivateProfileString to store values to a private settings file.
  • Use SetDocumentVar to store values in a document.
  • Use SetProfileString to store values in the Win.ini file.
  • Use the WordBasic File Input/Output statements to write to a text file (for example, Write or Print statements).
  • Use SetAutoText to store values in an AutoText entry.


"Microsoft Word Developer's Kit," pages 183-196

Additional query words: setdocumentvar getdocument document get set variable value

Keywords: kbhowto kbmacroexample KB106388