Understanding ‘invalid Use Of Null’ In Vba

Understanding “Invalid Use Of Null” In VBA


In VBA, the term “invalid use of null” refers to an error that occurs when you try to assign the value Null to a variable that is declared with a data type that does not support Null values.


For example, the following code will generate an “invalid use of null” error:


Dim MyInteger As Integer
MyInteger = Null

This is because the Integer data type does not support Null values. Null is a special value that indicates the absence of a value, and it can only be assigned to variables that are declared with the Variant data type.

To fix this error, you need to change the data type of the variable to Variant. For example:

Dim MyInteger As Variant
MyInteger = Null

You can also use the IsNothing function to check if a variable is Null. For example:

If IsNothing(MyInteger) Then
    ' Do something
End If

The IsNothing function will return True if the variable is Null, and False otherwise.

Additional Notes

  • The Null value is different from the empty string (“”) or the number 0.
  • You can use the Nz function to convert a Null value to a non-Null value. For example:
Dim MyInteger As Variant
MyInteger = Nz(MyInteger, 0)

This code will set the value of MyInteger to 0 if it is Null, otherwise it will leave the value of MyInteger unchanged.## Understanding ‘Invalid Use of Null’ in VBA

Executive Summary

The ‘Invalid Use of Null’ error occurs commonly in VBA when attempting to assign a Null value to an object variable. This error arises due to VBA’s strict typing system, which mandates that all object variables must refer to a valid object instance or be set to Nothing explicitly. Neglecting this rule results in the “Invalid Use of Null” error, which hinders the smooth execution of VBA procedures. Understanding the causes, preventing measures, and error handling techniques is vital for effectively handling this error in VBA.


VBA code often necessitates the use of objects to represent various entities within the system, such as forms, workbooks, or charts. When declaring object variables, it is important to initialize them with a valid object instance or explicitly set them to Nothing using VBA’s Set keyword. Failure to do so can result in the dreaded “Invalid Use of Null” error, bringing your code to a screeching halt.

Causes of the ‘Invalid Use of Null’ Error

The “Invalid Use of Null” error most often occurs in VBA when attempting to assign a Null value to an object variable. Null indicates the absence of a valid object reference, and assigning it to an object variable violates VBA’s requirement for all object variables to reference a valid object instance or be set to Nothing explicitly.

  1. Proper Object Initialization: To prevent the “Invalid Use of Null” error, ensure that all object variables are properly initialized with a valid object instance or set to Nothing when declared. This can be achieved by setting the variable to a newly created object instance or by using the Set keyword to explicitly set the variable to Nothing.

  2. Explicitly Set Variables to Nothing: When an object is no longer required, it is good practice to explicitly set the corresponding object variable to Nothing to release the reference to the object. This helps in preventing the accumulation of unnecessary objects in memory and avoids the “Invalid Use of Null” error when the variable is used in subsequent code.

  3. Use the Null Keyword with Caution: The Null keyword is primarily used in VBA to represent a Null value, which signifies a missing or empty value. However, using Null without proper context can lead to the “Invalid Use of Null” error. It is advised to use Null judiciously and explicitly set object variables to Nothing instead of directly assigning Null.

  4. Error Handling and Debugging: Implementing error handling mechanisms is crucial for managing VBA errors, including the “Invalid Use Of Null” error. This can include using the On Error statement to trap errors, allowing custom error handling procedures to be executed instead of abruptly terminating the code.

  5. Consult VBA Documentation: To gain a comprehensive understanding of error handling and best practices related to object variables in VBA, refer to Microsoft’s official VBA documentation. It provides detailed information on these topics, enabling developers to write robust and efficient VBA code.


The “Invalid Use of Null” error in VBA primarily results from incorrect usage of object variables and attempting to assign Null values where they are not appropriate. By understanding the causes of this error, developers can implement appropriate error handling techniques to prevent and manage it effectively. Proper initialization, utilization of Nothing, cautious use of Null, and diligent debugging practices are essential for writing reliable and error-free VBA code.

Keyword Phrase Tags

  • Invalid Use of Null VBA
  • Object Variables VBA
  • Error Handling VBA
  • VBA Debugging
  • Null Reference VBA
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Comments 11
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