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excel – VBA overflow behaviour

Posted by: admin May 14, 2020 Leave a comment


I have some vba behaviour that I do not understand.
I’m running vba in a macro of excel 2016.

Sub alpha()

Dim a As Integer, b As Long
a = 750
b = 50 * a


End Sub

Running this sub results in an overflow error. Why?

Variable a is an integer and therefore cannot hold the number 750*50 because that is too high. But variable b is dimensionalised as a long – so it should be able to hold that number.

Strangely – If I change the type of variable a to Long then the code runs through.

How to&Answers:

The maximum value for an Integer in VBA is 32,767.

You are overflowing that with 50 * a. It’s not relevant that you want to assign that to a Long as conceptually the multiplication happens prior to the assignment, and by then, the damage has been done.

Use a Long instead for a or write

b = 50& * a

to force type promotion. Either are good up to 2,147,483,647