MS-Word / General Formatting

User Input and Output

The following sections describe various methods of displaying information and obtaining input from the user.


The MsgBox command allows you to display a dialog box containing an informative message. MsgBox temporarily halts the macro until the user closes the message dialog box.

The MsgBox command has the following form:

MsgBox message [,buttons [,title] ]

message is the text to display in the message, buttons is a constant that indicates the type of buttons to display, and title is the title displayed in the dialog box title bar.

To display a simple message, use a command such as this one:

MsgBox "It's Saturday night!"

This command displays the dialog box.

Here's a MsgBox call that specifies the type of buttons and a title:

MsgBox "It's Saturday night!", vbOKCancel, "Live from London!"

The buttons argument controls three items at a time:

  • Buttons that appear in the dialog box
  • The icon that appears in the dialog box
  • The button that is the default

(If you omit the default button argument, the first button is assumed to be the default.) Table-2 lists the values for these settings.

Table-2 MsgBox Type Values
ButtonsvbOKOnlyOK only
vbOKCancelOK and Cancel
vbAbortRetry IgnoreAbort, Retry, and Ignore
vbYesNoCancelYes, No, and Cancel
vbYesNoYes and No
vbRetryCancelRetry and Cancel
IconvbCriticalCritical icon
vbQuestionA question mark
vbExclamationAn exclamation mark
vbInformationInformation only
Default buttonvbDefault Button1First button (OK, Yes, or Abort)
vbDefault Button2Second button (Cancel, No, or Retry)
vbDefault Button3vbDefault Button3

You can put these constants together to create composite styles. For example, this MsgBox command displays OK and Cancel buttons and a Stop symbol and makes the Cancel button the default:

MsgBox "It's Saturday night!", vbOKCancel + vbExclamation +
    vbDefaultButton2, "Live from London!"

The resulting dialog box shown.

MsgBox returns a value that indicates which button was clicked, as described in Table-3.

Table-3 MsgBox Return Values
Constant Numeric 	Value 		Button That Is Clicked
vbOK 			1 		OK button
vbCancel 		2 		Cancel
vbAbort 		3 		Abort
vbRetry 		4 		Retry
vbIgnore 		5 		Ignore
vbYes 			6 		Yes
vbNo 			7 		No


The VBA function InputBox displays a dialog box that includes a single text field in which the user can type a response. The user's input is then returned to the macro as the function's return value.

The InputBox function accepts three arguments:

InputBox(prompt [,title] [,default])

For example, the following InputBox function asks the user to enter a name:

Name=InputBox("Type a name:")

This example shows how to provide your own title for the input dialog box and display a default choice:

Name=InputBox("Type a name:", "The Name Game", UserName)

The user's response returns in the Name variable. The dialog box that's displayed.

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