The Object Browser

The Object Browser provides the primary means to find objects and their associated properties and methods in Excel/VBA. It gives programmers a window to the object hierarchy in VBA and Excel, allowing them to inspect the objects available in VBA and Excel and their methods and properties. It can be accessed from the VBE either by clicking the Object Browser button on the Standard toolbar, or selecting Object Browser from the View menu.

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Library list box

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Figure 4.2 Selecting the Object Browser from the VBE

On entry to the Object Browser, you will see a screen similar to that in Figure 4.2. At the top left is a pull-down list of the Object model libraries, which includes the Excel and VBA library, as well as Office, VBA Project, and so on. The Excel library provides Help on all of the objects in the Excel object model, and their properties and methods. The VBA library provides Help on the VBA elements that are common to all applications that can use VBA, including Excel, Word, Access and PowerPoint. The default is All Libraries.

The left-hand pane lists all Classes of objects in the library, while the right-hand pane lists all the properties and methods associated with each selection. For example, Figure 4.4 shows a list of classes available with the Excel library. When a class is highlighted on the class list, then a complete list of properties and methods associated with it appears in the right-hand pane. Note that the Object Browser does not distinguish between properties and methods - they are listed together alphabetically. If an individual member of this list is highlighted (ChartArea, in Figure 4.3) then a description appears below this pane stating whether the selection is a property or method and a description of its use, such as:

Property ChartArea As ChartArea read-only

Member of Excel.Chart

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Figure 4.3 The Object Browser with an object and a property selected

Notice that properties are designated by the hand icon, whereas methods are indicated using a rectangular icon. The properties or methods of some objects may themselves be objects. For example, the ChartArea method of the Chart object in Figure 4.3 is itself an object and as such, the properties and methods of this object can be inspected (see Figure 4.4). One such method for this object is Copy.

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Figure 4.4 Working deeper into the Object Browser

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