Note: The function, method, object, or property described in this topic is disabled if the Microsoft Jet Expression Service is running in sandbox mode, which prevents the evaluation of potentially unsafe expressions. For more information on sandbox mode, search for "sandbox mode" in Help.
Returns a reference to an object provided by an ActiveX component.
GetObject([pathname ] [, class ] )
The GetObject function syntax has these arguments:
Optional. Variant (String). The full path and name of the file containing the object to retrieve. If pathname is omitted, class is required.
Optional. Variant (String). A string representing the class of the object.
The classargument uses the syntax appname.objecttype and has these parts:
Required. Variant (String). The name of the application providing the object.
Required. Variant (String). The type or class of object to create.
Note: Examples that follow demonstrate the use of this function in a Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) module. For more information about working with VBA, select Developer Reference in the drop-down list next to Search and enter one or more terms in the search box.
Use the GetObject function to access an ActiveX object from a file and assign the object to an object variable. Use the Set statement to assign the object returned by GetObject to the object variable. For example:
Dim CADObject As Object
Set CADObject = GetObject("C:\CAD\SCHEMA.CAD")
When this code is executed, the application associated with the specified pathname is started and the object in the specified file is activated.
If pathname is a zero-length string (""), GetObject returns a new object instance of the specified type. If the pathname argument is omitted, GetObject returns a currently active object of the specified type. If no object of the specified type exists, an error occurs.
Some applications allow you to activate part of a file. Add an exclamation point (!) to the end of the file name and follow it with a string that identifies the part of the file you want to activate. For information on how to create this string, see the documentation for the application that created the object.
For example, in a drawing application you might have multiple layers to a drawing stored in a file. You could use the following code to activate a layer within a drawing called SCHEMA.CAD:
Set LayerObject = GetObject("C:\CAD\SCHEMA.CAD!Layer3")
If you don't specify the object's class, Automation determines the application to start and the object to activate, based on the file name you provide. Some files, however, may support more than one class of object. For example, a drawing might support three different types of objects: an Application object, a Drawing object, and a Toolbar object, all of which are part of the same file. To specify which object in a file you want to activate, use the optional class argument. For example:
Dim MyObject As Object
Set MyObject = GetObject("C:\DRAWINGS\SAMPLE.DRW", _
In the example, FIGMENT is the name of a drawing application and DRAWING is one of the object types it supports.
Once an object is activated, you reference it in code using the object variable you defined. In the preceding example, you access properties and methods of the new object by using the object variable MyObject. For example:
MyObject.Line 9, 90
MyObject.InsertText 9, 100, "Hello, world."
Note: Use the GetObject function when there is a current instance of the object or if you want to create the object with a file already loaded. If there is no current instance, and you don't want the object started with a file loaded, use the CreateObject function.
If an object has registered itself as a single-instance object, only one instance of the object is created, no matter how many times CreateObject is executed. With a single-instance object, GetObject always returns the same instance when called with the zero-length string ("") syntax, and it causes an error if the pathname argument is omitted. You can't use GetObject to obtain a reference to a class created with Visual Basic.
This example uses the GetObject function to get a reference to a specific Microsoft Office Excel 2007 worksheet (MyXL). It uses the worksheet's Application property to make Excel visible, to close it, and so on. Using two API calls, the DetectExcel Sub procedure looks for Excel, and if it is running, enters it in the Running Object Table. The first call to GetObject causes an error if Microsoft Excel isn't already running. In the example, the error causes the ExcelWasNotRunning flag to be set to True. The second call to GetObject specifies a file to open. If Excel isn't already running, the second call starts it and returns a reference to the worksheet represented by the specified file, mytest.xls. The file must exist in the specified location; otherwise, the Visual Basic error Automation error is generated. Next, the example code makes both Excel and the window containing the specified worksheet visible. Finally, if there was no previous version of Excel running, the code uses the Application object's Quit method to close Excel. If the application was already running, no attempt is made to close it. The reference itself is released by setting it to Nothing.
' Declare necessary API routines:
Declare Function FindWindow Lib "user32" Alias _
"FindWindowA" (ByVal lpClassName as String, _
ByVal lpWindowName As Long) As Long
Declare Function SendMessage Lib "user32" Alias _
"SendMessageA" (ByVal hWnd as Long,ByVal wMsg as Long, _
ByVal wParam as Long, _
ByVal lParam As Long) As Long
Dim MyXL As Object ' Variable to hold reference
' to Microsoft Excel.
Dim ExcelWasNotRunning As Boolean ' Flag for final release.
' Test to see if there is a copy of Microsoft Excel already running.
On Error Resume Next ' Defer error trapping.
' GetObject function called without the first argument returns a
' reference to an instance of the application. If the application isn't
' running, an error occurs.
Set MyXL = GetObject(, "Excel.Application")
If Err.Number <> 0 Then ExcelWasNotRunning = True
Err.Clear ' Clear Err object in case error occurred.
' Check for Microsoft Excel. If Microsoft Excel is running,
' enter it into the Running Object table.
' Set the object variable to reference the file you want to see.
Set MyXL = GetObject("c:\vb4\MYTEST.XLS")
' Show Microsoft Excel through its Application property. Then
' show the actual window containing the file using the Windows
' collection of the MyXL object reference.
MyXL.Application.Visible = True
MyXL.Parent.Windows(1).Visible = True
Do manipulations of your file here.
' If this copy of Microsoft Excel was not running when you
' started, close it using the Application property's Quit method.
' Note that when you try to quit Microsoft Excel, the
' title bar blinks and a message is displayed asking if you
' want to save any loaded files.
If ExcelWasNotRunning = True Then
Set MyXL = Nothing ' Release reference to the
' application and spreadsheet.
' Procedure dectects a running Excel and registers it.
Const WM_USER = 1024
Dim hWnd As Long
' If Excel is running this API call returns its handle.
hWnd = FindWindow("XLMAIN", 0)
If hWnd = 0 Then ' 0 means Excel not running.
' Excel is running so use the SendMessage API
' function to enter it in the Running Object Table.
SendMessage hWnd, WM_USER + 18, 0, 0