How to shorten VBA code in Excel

Shortening VBA code can make it much easier to read and maintain. Here, we mean shortening in the sense that some code blocks can be stacked or alternative statements can be introduced to make it more efficient. In this guide, we’re going to show you how to shorten VBA code in Excel.

Variable declaration

Our first tip is variable declaration. You can use a single Dim statement to declare multiple variables by putting commas between each variable.

Instead of the following:

Dim i As Integer
Dim j As Integer
Dim str As String
Dim nm As Name


Dim i As Integer, j As Integer, str As String, nm As Name

Warning: you cannot use “As …” block to define same type of multiple variables. VBA evaluates any variable without “As …” block as Variant.

An alternative approach is to use shorthand characters: % -integer; & -long; @ -currency; # -double; ! -single; $ -string

Merging lines to shorten VBA code

You can use colon (:) characters to merge multiple lines into one. This can be helpful in combining similar and short lines of code. Variable assignments are a good example to this.

Instead of the following:

i = 0
j = 1
str = "X"


i = 0 : j = 1 : str = "X"

Warning: Avoid merging long lines of code if you need to scroll to the right to access the compound line.

Direct range references

You can use the square brackets ([]) to refer to a workbook reference, instead of Range or Name objects.

Instead of the following:

str = Worksheets("Sheet1").Range("A1:B4")
str = ActiveWorkbook.Names("Input1").RefersToRange.Value


str = Worksheets("Sheet1").[A1:B4]
str = [Input1]

You can check How to refer a range or a cell in Excel VBA to learn more about references in VBA.

IIf Function instead of IF-ELSE

The IIf function is the VBA counterpart of the Excel’s IF function. If you need to use one-line, variable assignment codes depending on whether a condition is met, use IIf to shorten your VBA code.

Instead of the following:

If age <= 18 Then
  restriction = 1
  restriction = 0
End If


restriction = IIf(age <= 18, 1, 0)

With Statement can shorten VBA code

If you want to change multiple properties of a certain object, consider using a With statement to refer to the parent object in each line. Using the With statement, the code becomes easier to write and read.

Instead of the following:

Range("E8").Interior.Pattern = xlSolid
Range("E8").Interior.PatternColorIndex = xlAutomatic
Range("E8").Interior.ThemeColor = xlThemeColorAccent1
Range("E8").Interior.TintAndShade = 0.399975585192419
Range("E8").Interior.PatternTintAndShade = 0


With Range("E8").Interior
  .Pattern = xlSolid
  .PatternColorIndex = xlAutomatic
  .ThemeColor = xlThemeColorAccent1
  .TintAndShade = 0.399975585192419
  .PatternTintAndShade = 0
End With

Remember to close the block by End With statement. This is our last tip on how to shorten VBA code in Excel article.