XL97: CreateObject and GetObject Work Differently

ID: Q143461

The information in this article applies to:


The CreateObject and GetObject methods of Automation work differently in Microsoft Excel 97 than they do with earlier versions of Microsoft Excel.

This article explains the differences in behavior and offers some suggestions for making Automation code work with Microsoft Excel 97 and earlier versions of Microsoft Excel.


Behavior in Different Versions of Microsoft Excel

When you use CreateObject or GetObject in a macro to work with a Microsoft Excel sheet object, such as "Excel.Sheet" or "Excel.Sheet.8," the type of object the macro returns is different for different versions of Microsoft Excel.

   Version                    Type of object returned

   Microsoft Excel 97         Workbook
   Microsoft Excel 5.0, 7.0   Worksheet 

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You can demonstrate the change in behavior by running the following Visual Basic for Applications macro in Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Visual Basic, version 4.0:

   Sub ShowTypeName()

       Dim xlObj As Object
       Set xlObj = CreateObject("Excel.Sheet")
       MsgBox TypeName(xlObj)
       Set xlObj = Nothing

   End Sub 
In Microsoft Excel 97, when you run the macro, a message box that displays "Workbook" appears. In earlier versions of Microsoft Excel, the message is "Worksheet".

This change in behavior may cause a problem if your code uses properties and methods that are specific to the type of object to which the macro references.

This following macro works correctly with earlier versions of Microsoft Excel, because the Parent property of xlObj (a Worksheet object) is a Workbook object; and the Close method applies to workbooks:

   Sub DemonstrateProblem()

       Dim xlObj As Object
       Set xlObj = CreateObject("Excel.Sheet")
       MsgBox TypeName(xlObj)
       xlObj.Parent.Close False
       Set xlObj = Nothing

   End Sub 
However, this macro fails when you run it in Microsoft Excel 97, because the Parent property of xlObj (a Workbook object) is an Application object, and the Close method does not apply to the Application. When you run the macro, you receive the following error message:
Run-time error '438':
Object doesn't support this property or method

Making your Code Work in All Versions of Microsoft Excel

If you want to use Automation with Microsoft Excel, but you do not know which version of Microsoft Excel is running, you can modify your code to work correctly with any version of Microsoft Excel.

One way to do this is to check the version of Microsoft Excel from the macro, and then store the version number in a variable. To do this, use the following line of code:

   ExcelVersion = Val(xlObj.Application.Version) 
where "xlObj" is the name of the Microsoft Excel object.

The value of "ExcelVersion" is either 5, 7, or 8 for Microsoft Excel 5.0, 7.0, or 97 respectively.

After you determine the version of Microsoft Excel you are using, modify the macro to work correctly with that version of Microsoft Excel. For example, you can make the macro in this article work correctly by adding a few lines of code. The following example illustrates how to change the macro:

   Sub FixedProblem()

       'Dimension variables.
       Dim xlObj As Object, ExcelVersion As Integer
       Dim xlTemp As Object

       Set xlObj = CreateObject("Excel.Sheet")

       'This line guarantees that xlObj will remain viable when we switch
       'it to the active sheet.
       Set xlTemp = xlObj

       ExcelVersion = Val(xlObj.Application.Version)

       If ExcelVersion >= 8 Then

          Set xlObj = xlObj.ActiveSheet   'Reset the xlObj object to refer
                                          'to the active sheet.
       End If

       'Code that works with the xlObj object goes here.

       Set xlTemp = Nothing   'Both object variables should be set to
       Set xlObj = Nothing    'Nothing.

   End Sub 
This macro works correctly with Microsoft Excel 5.0, 7.0, or Microsoft Excel 97. The macro also works correctly when you run it from Microsoft Visual Basic, Microsoft Word 97, or any other program (including Microsoft Excel) that supports Visual Basic or Visual Basic for Applications.

Additional query words: XL97 automate ole automation

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Platform          : WINDOWS 
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Last Reviewed: July 1, 1999