Executing Sub and Function Procedures

4 minute read

Although you may not know much about developing procedures at this point, I’m going to jump ahead a bit and discuss how to execute these procedures.

This is important because these procedures are worthless unless you know how to execute it.

Executing Sub procedure

Executing a Sub procedure means the same thing as running or calling a Sub procedure.

You can use whatever terminology you like.

You can execute a VBA Sub in many ways - that’s one reason you can do so many useful things with Sub procedures.

Here’s a list of the ways to execute a Sub procedure:

  • With the Run -> Run Sub/UserForm command (in the VBE). VBE executes the Sub procedure in which the cursor is located. This menu command has two alternatives: the F5 key and the Run Sub/UserForm button on the Standard toolbar in the VBE. These methods don’t work if the procedure requires one or more arguments.
  • From another Sub procedure that you write.
  • From a custom item on the ribbon you develop.
  • From the Immediate window in the VBE. Just type the name of the Sub procedure and press Enter.
  • From Run Macro -> Select Macro you want to run. By this, your macro runs the Sub procedure without opening VBE.

I demonstrate some of these techniques in the following sections.

Before I can do that, you need to enter a Sub procedure into a VBA module as suggested below:

  • Open the VBE in Solidworks.
  • Enter the following code into your module
Sub CubeRoot()
   Number = InputBox("Enter a positive number.")
   MsgBox number ^ (1/3) & "is the cube root."
End Sub

This procedure asks the user for a number and then displays that number’s cube root in a message box.

Below Figures shows what happens when you execute this procedure.


I entered 4 as input value. And get result as shown in below image.


By the way, CubeRoot is not an example of a good macro. It doesn’t check for errors, so it fails easily.

To see what I mean, try clicking the Cancel button in the input box or entering a negative number.

Executing the Sub procedure directly

The quickest way to execute this procedure is by doing so directly from the VBA module in which you defined it.

Follow these steps:

  • Activate the VBE and select the VBA module that contains the procedure.
  • Move the cursor anywhere in the procedure’s code.
  • Press F5 (or choose Run -> Run Sub/UserForm).
  • Respond to the input box and click OK.
  • The procedure displays the cube root of the number you entered.

You can’t use the Run -> Run Sub/UserForm command to execute a Sub procedure that uses arguments, because you have no way to pass the arguments to the procedure.

If the procedure contains one or more arguments, the only way to execute it is to call it from another procedure — which must supply the argument(s).

Executing the Sub procedure from another procedure

You can also execute a Sub procedure from another procedure.

Follow these steps if you want to give this a try:

  • Activate the VBA module that holds the CubeRoot routine.
  • Enter this new procedure (either above or below CubeRoot code — it makes no difference):

     Sub NewSub()
        Call CubeRoot
     End Sub
  • Execute the NewSub macro.

The easiest way to do this is to move the cursor anywhere within the NewSub code and press F5. Notice that this NewSub procedure simply executes the CubeRoot procedure.

Please note that the keyword Call is optional. The statement can consist of only the Sub procedure’s name. I find that using the Call keyword makes it perfectly clear that a procedure is being called.

Executing Function procedure

Function procedures, unlike Sub procedures, can be only executed in only one way:

  • By calling the function from another Sub procedure or Function procedure.

Try this simple function. Enter it into a VBA module:

Function CubeRoot()
   CubeRoot = number ^ (1/3)
End Function

This function is pretty bored — it merely calculates the cube root of the number passed to it as its argument.

It does provide a starting point for understanding functions.

It also presents an important concept about functions: how to return the value.

(You do remember that a function returns a value, right?)

Notice that the single line of code that makes up this Function procedure performs a calculation.

The result of the math (number to the power of 1⁄3) is assigned to the variable CubeRoot.

Not coincidentally, CubeRoot is also the name of the function.

To tell the function what value to return, you assign that value to the name of the function.

Executing the Function procedure from a Sub procedure

Because you can’t execute a function directly, you must call it from another procedure.

Enter the following simple procedure in the same VBA module that contains the CubeRoot function:

Sub CubeRoot()
   Ans = CubeRoot(125)
   MsgBox Ans
End Sub

When you execute the CubeRoot procedure (using any of the methods described earlier), Youe software displays a message box that contains the value of the Ans variable, which is 5.

Here’s what’s going on:

  • CubeRoot(125) means it CubeRoot receive argument of 125.
  • Then Function CubeRoot(number) is executed. As described previously, number is an argument. And here the value of this is 125.
  • Then by number ^ (1/3) we get the cube of 125. (why? Because 125 is argument passed by the sub function and this 125 is the value of number.)
  • After that cube value of 125, i.e. 5, is assigned to or given to or equal to CubeRoot. This CubeRoot assigned to or given to or equal to Ans. After that message boxes show the value of 5 in your screen.

Please read again if you don’t understand what is going on here.

Next post will be about Programming Concepts, Comments and Data-types.