What Is an Object Data Type in VBA?


Heather Bennett

In Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), an object data type plays a significant role in programming. It allows you to create and manipulate various objects, such as forms, worksheets, charts, and even custom objects. Understanding the object data type is essential for effectively using VBA to automate tasks within applications like Microsoft Excel, Word, Access, and PowerPoint.

What is an Object Data Type?

An object data type represents a single instance of a class or an object in VBA. It is different from other basic data types like integers or strings because it can store both data and behavior. Objects have properties that store values and methods that perform actions or operations on those values.

When you declare an object variable in VBA, you are essentially creating a reference to an instance of a specific class. This reference allows you to access the properties and methods of that particular object.

Declaring Object Variables

To declare an object variable in VBA, you use the Dim statement followed by the name of the variable and its data type:

Dim objWorksheet As Worksheet

In this example, we declared an object variable named objWorksheet with a data type of Worksheet. Now we can use this variable to refer to an actual worksheet in our code.

The New Keyword

To create a new instance of an object and assign it to a variable, you use the New keyword:

Set objWorksheet = New Worksheet

In this case, we create a new worksheet object and assign it to our objWorksheet variable. Now we can access the properties and methods specific to the Worksheet class.

Working with Object Properties

Object properties allow you to get or set values associated with an object. For example, if we have a worksheet object, we can access its properties like Name, Visible, or UsedRange.

To get or set a property value, you use the dot notation:

Dim sheetName As String
sheetName = objWorksheet.Name

objWorksheet.Visible = False

In this example, we retrieve the name of the worksheet using the Name property and assign it to the sheetName variable. We also set the visibility of the worksheet to False.

Calling Object Methods

Object methods are actions or operations that can be performed on an object. They allow you to manipulate data or perform specific tasks associated with an object.

To call an object method, you also use the dot notation:

objWorksheet.Copy After:=Worksheets("Sheet2")

In this example, we activate the worksheet using the Activate method and make a copy of it after another sheet using the Copy method.


In VBA, the object data type is a powerful tool for working with various objects in applications like Excel, Word, Access, and PowerPoint. By understanding how to declare object variables, access properties, and call methods, you can automate tasks and enhance your productivity.

Remember to practice using objects in VBA to become more familiar with their capabilities and explore the extensive documentation provided by Microsoft for each application’s object model.

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