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VBA: Convert centimeters, inches & pixels to points

VBA Code Snippets

VBA Code Snippets

It is frustrating that Excel, PowerPoint and Word work natively using a measurement known as points.  However, measurements within the standard application menus are set in centimeters or inches.  This can be seen when setting the position and size of a shape in PowerPoint through the standard menus.

PowerPoint measures in Cms
Measurements in standard menus are in Centimeters

Yet, when using a macro to retrieve the position of that same shape, it displays the value in points.

PowerPoint measures in Points
Measurements for VBA are in Points

Below is the PowerPoint VBA Code to show the dimensions of the active shape:

Sub getShapeSizes()

Dim msgText As String
msgText = "Top: " & ActiveWindow.Selection.ShapeRange.Top & vbNewLine
msgText = msgText & "Left: " & ActiveWindow.Selection.ShapeRange.Left & vbNewLine
msgText = msgText & "Height: " & ActiveWindow.Selection.ShapeRange.Height & vbNewLine
msgText = msgText & "Width: " & ActiveWindow.Selection.ShapeRange.Width & vbNewLine

MsgBox msgText

End Sub

Whether the displayed measurements are in centimeters or inches is set through the Control Panel for PowerPoint.  For Excel, the default is also set through the Control panel, but this can be changed to be non-default within the Excel options. File -> Options -> Advanced -> Display -> Ruler Units.

Change Excel Unit of Measure


Converting from Inches or Centimeters to Points

Converting from inches or centimeters into points is reasonably straightforward, as there are 72 points to an inch or 28.35 points to a centimeter (rounded to 2 decimal places).  Microsoft has provided two useful VBA function to make this conversion

Convert from Inches to Points

Dim valueInches As Double
Dim valuePoints As Double
valueInches = 25
valuePoints = Application.InchesToPoints(valueInches)
Debug.Print valuePoints

Convert from Centimeters to Points

Dim valueCentimeters As Double
Dim valuePoints As Double
valueCentimeters = 25
valuePoints = Application.CentimetersToPoints(valueCentimeters)
Debug.Print valuePoints

Convert from Points to Inches

Dim valuePoints As Double
Dim valueCentimeters As Double
valuePoints = 50
valueCentimeters = valuePoints / Application.CentimetersToPoints(1)
Debug.Print valueCentimeters

Convert from Points to Centimeters

Dim valuePoints As Double
Dim valueInches As Double
valuePoints = 700
valueInches = valuePoints / Application.InchesToPoints(1)
Debug.Print valueInches


Converting from Points to Pixels

What about Pixels?  Whilst Pixels may seem to be an understandable unit of measure for the purposes of controlling positions of objects, it’s not as useful as you might expect.

The number of pixels will depend on a variety of factors, such as screen resolution used for each monitor.  However, if you are desperate to convert points to pixels the following VBA code could be used.

Dim valuePoints As Long
Dim valuePixels As Long
valuePoints = 500
valuePixels = Application.ActiveWindow.PointsToScreenPixelsX(valuePoints)
Debug.Print "X axis Pixels: " & valuePixels
valuePixels = Application.ActiveWindow.PointsToScreenPixelsY(valuePoints)
Debug.Print "Y axis Pixels: " & valuePixels

Want to Learn VBA & Macros?

If you want to automate Excel and save time, my recommended resouces for learning VBA Macros are: