VBA DIR Function

Updated on January 1, 2024
Article byJeevan A Y
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Excel VBA DIR Function

The VBA DIR function is also known as the directory function. It is a built-in function in VBA that gives us the file name of a given file or a folder, but we need to provide the path for the file. The output returned by this function is a string as it returns the file’s name. This function has two arguments: the path name and the attributes.

The DIR function returns the first file name in the specified folder path. So, for example, in your D drive, if you have a folder name called 2019. In that folder, if you have an Excel file named “2019 Sales,” you can access this file using the DIR function.

The VBA DIR function is very helpful in getting the file name by using its path folder.

VBA DIR Function

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Syntax

This function has two optional arguments.

VBA Dir Formula
  • [Path Name]: As the name says, what the path to access the file is. It could be the file’s name, the folder’s name, or the directory. It will return an empty string value if any path is not assigned.
  • [Attributes]: This is an optional argument; you may not use this often in coding. You can specify the file’s attribute in the [Path Name], and the DIR function looks for only those files.

For example: If you want to access only hidden files, if you want to access only read-only files, etc., we can specify in this argument. Below are the attributes we can use.

VBA Dir Example 1

Examples to use VBA DIR Function

You can download this VBA Dir Excel Template here – VBA Dir Excel Template

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Example #1 – Accessing the File Name using DIR Function

We will explain the simple example of accessing the file name using the DIR function. Follow the below steps.

Step 1: Create a macro name.

Step 2: Define the variable as String.

Code:

Sub Dir_Example1()

  Dim MyFile As String

End Sub

Step 3: Now, we will assign a value using this variable’s DIR function.

Code:

Sub Dir_Example1()

  Dim MyFile As String

  MyFile = Dir(

End Sub

Step 4: Copy and paste the file folder path on your computer. Mention the pathname in double-quotes.

Code:

Sub Dir_Example1()

  Dim MyFile As String

  MyFile = Dir("E:\VBA Template

End Sub

Step 5: We have mentioned my path to the folder. Now we need to mention the file name and its extension as well. To do this, we first need to put a backslash after the path (\).

After entering the backslash, we need to enter the full file name.

Code:

Sub Dir_Example1()

  Dim MyFile As String

  MyFile = Dir("E:\VBA Template\VBA Dir Excel Template.xlsm")

End Sub

Step 6: Show the value of the variable in the message box.

Code:

Sub Dir_Example1()

  Dim MyFile As String

  MyFile = Dir("E:\VBA Template\VBA Dir Excel Template.xlsm")

  MsgBox MyFile

End Sub

Now, run the code and see the message box’s result.

VBA Dir Example 1-1

So, the DIR function returned the file name with the file extension.

Example #2 – Open File by using DIR Function

Now, how do we open the file? This function can return the file name, but opening that file is a bit different. Follow the below steps to open the file.

Step 1: Create two variables as String.

Code:

Sub Dir_Example2()

  Dim FolderName As String
  Dim FileName As String

End Sub

Step 2: Now, for the FolderName variable, assign the folder path.

Code:

Sub Dir_Example2()

  Dim FolderName As String
  Dim FileName As String

  FolderName = "E:\VBA Template\"

End Sub

Step 3: Now, for the FileName variable, we need to get the file name by using the DIR function.

Code:

Sub Dir_Example2()

  Dim FolderName As String
  Dim FileName As String

  FolderName = "E:\VBA Template\"
  FileName = Dir(

End Sub

Step 4: Now, for Path Name, we have already assigned a path to the variable FolderPath, so we can directly supply the variable here.

Code:

Sub Dir_Example2()

  Dim FolderName As String
  Dim FileName As String

  FolderName = "E:\VBA Template\"
  FileName = Dir(FolderName

End Sub

Step 5: Now, we need to supply the file name. By using the ampersand symbol (&), assign the file name.

Code:

Sub Dir_Example2()

  Dim FolderName As String
  Dim FileName As String

  FolderName = "E:\VBA Template\"
  FileName = Dir(FolderName & "VBA Dir Excel Template.xlsm")

End Sub

Step 6: Now, use the WORKBOOKS.OPEN method.

Code:

Sub Dir_Example2()

  Dim FolderName As String
  Dim FileName As String

  FolderName = "E:\VBA Template\"
  FileName = Dir(FolderName & "VBA Dir Excel Template.xlsm")

  Workbooks.Open

End Sub

Step 7: File Name is a combination of FolderPath & FileName. So combine these two.

Code:

Sub Dir_Example2()

  Dim FolderName As String
  Dim FileName As String

  FolderName = "E:\VBA Template\"
  FileName = Dir(FolderName & "VBA Dir Excel Template.xlsm")

  Workbooks.Open FolderName & FileName

End Sub

Now, run this code. It will open the mentioned file name.

Open-File Example 2

Example #3 – Multiple Open Workbooks using DIR Function

We can access all the workbooks in the folder. We cannot directly mention all the file names to access every file, but we can use the wildcard character to refer to the file.

The asterisk (*) is one of those wildcard characters. It identifies any number of characters. So, for example, if you want to access all the macro files in the folder, you can use the asterisk as the wildcard, “*.xlsm*.”

Here * will match any file name with the file’s extension equal to “xlsm.”

Code:

Sub Dir_Example3()

  Dim FolderName As String
  Dim FileName As String

  FolderName = "E:\VBA Template\"
  FileName = Dir(FolderName & "*.xlsm*")

  Do While FileName <> ""
  Workbooks.Open FolderName & FileName
  FileName = Dir()
  Loop

End Sub

Now, the above code will open all the files in the folder path.

FileName = Dir() we have used this line because we have to make the existing file name nil to access the next file in the folder. The moment we make the existing file name nil when the loop runs for the second time, it will take the next file in the folder.

Example #4 – Get all the File Names in the Folder

Suppose you want the list of all the file names in the folder. We can also do this by using attributes.

Code:

Sub Dir_Example4()
  Dim FileName As String
  FileName = Dir("E:\VBA Template\", vbDirectory)

  Do While FileName <> ""
   Debug.Print FileName
   FileName = Dir()
  Loop
End Sub

Make the immediate window visible by pressing Ctrl + G.

Get all the File Names 1

Now, run the code. We will get all the file names in the immediate window.

Get all the File Names 2

Recommended Articles

This article has been a guide to VBA DIR. Here, we learn how to use the VBA DIR function in excel along with practical examples and a downloadable template. Below you can find some useful Excel VBA articles: –