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excel – VBA Combobox / automatically generate code

Posted by: admin May 14, 2020 Leave a comment


I’ve got a question concerning combobox in Excel.

I’ve got an excel sheet that by default contains two comboboxes and their number is described by a variable x (x=2 by default). Each combobox is scripted to behave in a particular way in subs, for example I’ve got: private sub ComboBox1_DropButtonClick().

Nonetheless, sometimes I need to increase the number of these boxes by changing the value of X. I may need up to 10 comboboxes in total. Now the question is whether there’s any way in which I can set the behaviour of an infinite number of comboboxes (for example in the event of DropButtonClick). What I did was to write a code for each of those comboboxes, so I’ve got a sub for ComboBox1_DropButtonClick(), ComboBox2_DropButtonClick(), ComboBox3_DropButtonClick(), etc.. The code varies a bit, but it’s repeatable. So it all looks rather dumb and I’m searching for some more ingenious solution. Maybe all those comboboxes can be scripted in one go? If there’s any way to do it, please share it with me.

Thanks, Wojciech.

[edit] Location of my code (marked in grey):
Screenshot from VBA editor in VBA

How to&Answers:

Here is some code to dynamically add controls to an Excel Userform, and add the code behind. The code added will make it display a MessageBox when the ComboBox receives a KeyDown.

The code is somewhat commented, but let me know if you have questions 🙂

Option Explicit

Sub CreateFormComboBoxes(NumberOfComboBoxes As Long)
    Dim frm         As Object
    Dim ComboBox    As Object
    Dim Code        As String
    Dim i           As Long

    'Make a blank form called 'UserForm1', or any name you want
    'make sure it has no controls or any code in it
    Set frm = ThisWorkbook.VBProject.VBComponents("UserForm1")

    With frm
        For i = 1 To NumberOfComboBoxes
            Set ComboBox = .designer.Controls.Add("Forms.ComboBox.1")
             'Set the properties of the new controls
             With ComboBox
                .Width = 100
                .Height = 20
                .Top = 20 + ((i - 1) * 40) 'Move the control down
                .Left = 20
                .Visible = True
                .ZOrder (1)
                .Name = "ComboBox" & i
            End With
            'Add your code for each module, you can add different code, by adding a if statement here
            'And write the code depending on the name, index, or something else
            Code = Code & vbNewLine & "Private Sub " & "ComboBox" & i & "_KeyDown(ByVal KeyCode As MSForms.ReturnInteger, ByVal Shift As Integer)" & _
                   vbNewLine & "    MsgBox(""hi"")" & vbNewLine & "End Sub"

        'Add the code
        .CodeModule.InsertLines 2, Code
    End With

End Sub

'Run this
Sub Example()
    CreateFormComboBoxes 5
End Sub


I figured I might as well add the other approach for adding controls dynamically to an Excel sheet. I’d recommend sticking to UserForms, but, here’s a method that should help out when controls are needed in a Sheet.

Sub addCombosToExcelSheet(MySheet As Worksheet, NumberOfComboBoxes As Long, StringRangeForDropDown As String)
    Dim i           As Long
    Dim combo       As Shape
    Dim yPosition   As Long
    Dim Module      As Object

    yPosition = 20
    For i = 1 To NumberOfComboBoxes
        yPosition = (i - 1) * 50

        'Create the shape
        Set combo = MySheet.Shapes.AddFormControl(xlDropDown, 20, yPosition, 100, 20)

        ' Range where the values are stored for the dropDown
        combo.ControlFormat.ListFillRange = StringRangeForDropDown
        combo.Name = "Combo" & i
        Code = "Sub Combo" & i & "_Change()" & vbNewLine & _
               "    MsgBox(""hi"")" & vbNewLine & _
               "End Sub"
        'Add the code
        With ThisWorkbook
            'Make sure Module2 Exits and there is no other code present in it
            Set Module = .VBProject.VBComponents("Module2").CodeModule
            Module.AddFromString (Code)
        End With

        'Associate the control with the action, don't include the () at the end!
        combo.OnAction = "'" & ActiveWorkbook.Name & "'!Combo" & i & "_Change"

End Sub

Sub Example()
    Dim sht As Worksheet: Set sht = ThisWorkbook.Sheets(1)
    addCombosToExcelSheet sht, 10, "Sheet1!$A$1:$A$10"
End Sub