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Tip of the Day
Language: VB5,VB6,VBS
Expertise: Intermediate
Jul 7, 2001

Count number of words with the RegExp object

A Visual Basic function that counts the number of words in a sentence or text file can become quickly very complex, and usually doesn't execute fast enough for most purposes. Thanks to the RegEx object that comes with the Microsoft VBScript Regular Expression type library, this task becomes trivial. Here's all the code that you need:

' Count the number of words in the string argument
'
' NOTE: requires a reference to the 
'       Microsoft VBScript Regular Expression type library

Function CountWords(ByVal Text As String) As Long
    Dim re As New RegExp
    ' the following pattern means that we're looking for a word character (\w)
    ' repeated one or more times (the + suffix), and that occurs on a word
    ' boundary (leading and trailing \b sequences)
    re.Pattern = "\b\w+\b"
    ' search for *all* occurrences
    re.Global = True
    ' the Execute method does the search and returns a MatchCollection object
    ' which in turn exposes the Count property,
    '  i.e. the result we're interested into
    CountWords = re.Execute(Text).Count
End Function
Francesco Balena
 
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