Microsoft KB Archive/169104

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Article ID: 169104

Article Last Modified on 10/22/2000


  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q169104


In Microsoft Excel 97, if you run a Visual Basic for Applications macro that attempts to add a custom list to the application, you may receive the following error message:

Run-time error '1004':
Method 'AddCustomList' of object '_Application' failed


This problem occurs if the following conditions are true:

  • The ListArray argument of the AddCustomList method directly refers to a range of cells in a worksheet, for example:

     Application.AddCustomList ListArray:=Range("A1:A4")


  • The custom list you want to add is identical to an existing custom list. For example, if the range of cells contains the words "Alpha," "Bravo," "Charlie," and "Delta," and a custom list containing these four words already exists, the problem occurs.


Microsoft provides examples of Visual Basic for Applications procedures for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose. The Visual Basic procedures in this article are provided 'as is' and Microsoft does not guarantee that they can be used in all situations. While Microsoft support professionals can help explain the functionality of a particular macro, they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality, nor will they help you construct macros to meet your specific needs. If you have limited programming experience, you may want to consult one of the Microsoft Solution Providers. Solution Providers offer a wide range of fee-based services, including creating custom macros. For more information about Microsoft Solution Providers, call Microsoft Customer Information Service at (800) 426-9400.

To prevent this problem from occurring, do not refer directly to the range of cells in the ListArray argument. Instead, use a variable to temporarily hold the values from the cells, and then pass the values from the variable to the custom list.

The following example macro uses a variable to hold the values from the cells, and then passes the values from the variable to the custom list:

   Sub AddACustomList()

       ' Dimension a variable to hold the values.
       Dim TempArray As Variant

       ' Populate the variable with the values from the range of cells.
       TempArray = Range("A1:A4")

       ' Create the custom list.
       Application.AddCustomList ListArray:=TempArray

   End Sub

Note that adding a custom list when an identical custom list already exists does not result in two identical custom lists. The result is only one custom list containing the items you added.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products listed at the beginning of this article.


In Microsoft Excel 97, you can add custom lists to the application by doing either of the following:

  • On the Tools menu, click Options. Click the Custom Lists tab. Then, click Add or Import to add a new custom list to the application. -or-

  • Add a custom list to the application by using the AddCustomList method in a Visual Basic macro.

The ListArray argument of the AddCustomList method can accept a reference to a range of cells, for example:

   Application.AddCustomList ListArray:=Range("A1:A4")

Or, the argument can accept an Array of values, for example:

   Application.AddCustomList ListArray:=Array("Alpha", "Bravo", "Charlie")

If you use the first method, you receive an error message if the custom list you are creating is identical to an existing custom list. The second method always works correctly.

Additional query words: XL97

Keywords: kberrmsg kbprb KB169104