Data type summary

A data type is the characteristic of a variable that determines what kind of data it can hold. Data types include those in the following table as well as user-defined types and specific types of objects.

Set intrinsic data types

The following table shows the supported data types, including storage sizes and ranges.

Data type Storage size Range
Boolean 2 bytes True or False
Byte 1 byte 0 to 255
Collection Unknown Unknown
Currency (scaled integer) 8 bytes -922,337,203,685,477.5808 to 922,337,203,685,477.5807
Date 8 bytes -657,434 (January 1, 100), to 2,958,465 (December 31, 9999)
Decimal 14 bytes +/-79,228,162,514,264,337,593,543,950,335 with no decimal point

+/-7.9228162514264337593543950335 with 28 places to the right of the decimal

Smallest non-zero number is+/-0.0000000000000000000000000001
Dictionary Unknown Unknown
Double (double-precision floating-point) 8 bytes -1.79769313486231E308 to -4.94065645841247E-324 for negative values

4.94065645841247E-324 to 1.79769313486232E308 for positive values
Integer 2 bytes -32,768 to 32,767
Long (Long integer) 4 bytes -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647
LongLong (LongLong integer) 8 bytes -9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 9,223,372,036,854,775,807

Valid on 64-bit platforms only.
LongPtr (Long integer on 32-bit systems, LongLong integer on 64-bit systems) 4 bytes on 32-bit systems

8 bytes on 64-bit systems
-2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647 on 32-bit systems

-9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 9,223,372,036,854,775,807 on 64-bit systems
Object 4 bytes Any Object reference
Single (single-precision floating-point) 4 bytes -3.402823E38 to -1.401298E-45 for negative values

1.401298E-45 to 3.402823E38 for positive values
String (variable-length) 10 bytes + string length 0 to approximately 2 billion
String (fixed-length) Length of string 1 to approximately 65,400
Variant (with numbers) 16 bytes Any numeric value up to the range of a Double
Variant (with characters) 22 bytes + string length (24 bytes on 64-bit systems) Same range as for variable-length String
User-defined (using Type) Number required by elements The range of each element is the same as the range of its data type.

A Variant containing an array requires 12 bytes more than the array alone.


Arrays of any data type require 20 bytes of memory plus 4 bytes for each array dimension plus the number of bytes occupied by the data itself. The memory occupied by the data can be calculated by multiplying the number of data elements by the size of each element.

For example, the data in a single-dimension array consisting of 4 Integer data elements of 2 bytes each occupies 8 bytes. The 8 bytes required for the data plus the 24 bytes of overhead brings the total memory requirement for the array to 32 bytes. On 64-bit platforms, SAFEARRAY's take up 24-bits (plus 4 bytes per Dim statement). The pvData member is an 8-byte pointer and it must be aligned on 8 byte boundaries.


LongPtr is not a true data type because it transforms to a Long in 32-bit environments, or a LongLong in 64-bit environments. LongPtr should be used to represent pointer and handle values in Declare statements and enables writing portable code that can run in both 32-bit and 64-bit environments.


Use the StrConv function to convert one type of string data to another.

Identifier Type Characters

A set of identifier type characters are supplied that you can use in a declaration to specify the data type of a variable or constant. The following table shows the available identifier type characters with examples of usage.

Identifier type character Data type Example
% Integer Dim L%
& Long Dim M&
^ LongLong Dim N^
@ Currency Const W@ = 37.5
! Single Dim Q!
# Double Dim X#
$ String Dim V$ = "Secret"

No identifier type characters exist for the Boolean, Byte, Date, Decimal, Double, LongPtr, Object, Variant data types, or for any composite data types such as arrays, Collections, Dictionaries, structures, or user-defined types.

In some cases, you can append the $ character to a Visual Basic function, for example Left$ instead of Left, to obtain a returned value of type String.

In all cases, the identifier type character must immediately follow the identifier name.

Convert between data types

See Type conversion functions for examples how to use the following functions to coerce an expression to a specific data type: CBool, CByte, CCur, CDate, CDbl, CDec, CInt, CLng, CLngLng, CLngPtr, CSng, CStr, and CVar.

For the following, see the respective function pages: CVErr, Fix, and Int.


CLngLng is valid on 64-bit platforms only.

Verify data types

To verify data types, see the following functions:

See also

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