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Error Handling (2)
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Error-Handling, Debugging - Run-Time Error Trapping and Handling

• Run-time errors are trappable. That is, Visual Basic recognizes an error has occurred and enables you to trap it and take corrective action. If an error occurs and is not trapped, your program will usually end in a rather unceremonious manner.

• Error trapping is enabled with the On Error statement:

On Error GoTo errlabel

Yes, this uses the dreaded GoTo statement! Any time a run-time error occurs following this line, program control is transferred to the line labeled errlabel. Recall a labeled line is simply a line with the label followed by a colon (:).

• The best way to explain how to use error trapping is to look at an outline of an example procedure with error trapping.

Sub SubExample()

[Declare variables, ...]

On Error GoTo HandleErrors

[Procedure code]

Exit Sub

Error handling code]

End Sub

Once you have set up the variable declarations, constant definitions, and any other procedure preliminaries, the On Error statement is executed to enable error trapping. Your normal procedure code follows this statement. The error handling code goes at the end of the procedure, following the HandleErrors statement label. This is the code that is executed if an error is encountered anywhere in the Sub procedure. Note you must exit (with Exit Sub) from the code before reaching the HandleErrors line to avoid inadvertent execution of the error handling code.

• Since the error handling code is in the same procedure where an error occurs, all variables in that procedure are available for possible corrective action. If at some time in your procedure, you want to turn off error trapping, that is done with the following statement:

On Error GoTo 0

• Once a run-time error occurs, we would like to know what the error is and attempt to fix it. This is done in the error handling code.

• Visual Basic offers help in identifying run-time errors. The Err object returns, in its Number property (Err.Number), the number associated with the current error condition. (The Err function has other useful properties that we won’t cover here - consult on-line help for further information.) The Error() function takes this error number as its argument and returns a string description of the error. Consult on-line help for Visual Basic run-time error numbers and their descriptions.

• Once an error has been trapped and some action taken, control must be returned to your application. That control is returned via the Resume statement. There are three options:

Resume Lets you retry the operation that caused the error. That is, control is returned to the line where the error occurred. This could be dangerous in that, if the error has not been corrected (via code or by the user), an infinite loop between the error handler and the procedure code may result.

Resume Next Program control is returned to the line immediately following the line where the error occurred.
Resume label Program control is returned to the line labeled label.

• Be careful with the Resume statement. When executing the error handling portion of the code and the end of the procedure is encountered before a Resume, an error occurs. Likewise, if a Resume is encountered outside of the error handling portion of the code, an error occurs.


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