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VBA Non Latin Characters

Non-Latin Text in VBA Code

In spreadsheet cell A1, we have the following Arabic pangram:

صِف خَلقَ خَودِ كَمِثلِ الشَمسِ إِذ بَزَغَت — يَحظى الضَجيعُ بِها نَجلاءَ مِعطارِ

VBA provides the AscW and ChrW functions to work with multi-byte character codes. We can also use Byte arrays to manipulate the string variable directly:

Sub NonLatinStrings()
Dim rng As Range
Set rng = Range("A1")
Do Until rng = ""
 Dim MyString As String
 MyString = rng.Value

 ' AscW functions
 Dim char As String
 char = AscW(Left(MyString, 1))
 Debug.Print "First char (ChrW): " & char
 Debug.Print "First char (binary): " & BinaryFormat(char, 12)

 ' ChrW functions
 Dim uString As String
 uString = ChrW(char)
 Debug.Print "String value (text): " & uString ' Fails! Appears as '?'
 Debug.Print "String value (AscW): " & AscW(uString)

 ' Using a Byte string
 Dim StringAsByt() As Byte
 StringAsByt = MyString
 Dim i As Long
 For i = 0 To 1 Step 2
 Debug.Print "Byte values (in decimal): " & _
 StringAsByt(i) & "|" & StringAsByt(i + 1)
 Debug.Print "Byte values (binary): " & _
 BinaryFormat(StringAsByt(i)) & "|" & BinaryFormat(StringAsByt(i + 1))
 Next i
 Debug.Print ""
 ' Printing the entire string to the immediate window fails (all '?'s)
 Debug.Print "Whole String" & vbNewLine & rng.Value
 Set rng = rng.Offset(1)
End Sub

This produces the following output for the Arabic Letter Sad:

First char (ChrW): 1589
First char (binary): 00011000110101
String value (text): ?
String value (AscW): 1589
Byte values (in decimal): 53|6
Byte values (binary): 00110101|00000110

Whole String
??? ????? ????? ??????? ??????? ??? ??????? — ????? ???????? ???? ??????? ???????

Note that VBA is unable to print non-Latin text to the immediate window even though the string functions work correctly. This is a limitation of the IDE and not the language.


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