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.
Yet, when using a macro to retrieve the position of that same shape, it displays the value 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.
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 Centimeters
Dim valuePoints As Double Dim valueCentimeters As Double valuePoints = 50 valueCentimeters = valuePoints / Application.CentimetersToPoints(1) Debug.Print valueCentimeters
Convert from Points to Inches
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
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If you’ve found this post useful, or if you have a better approach, then please leave a comment below.
Do you need help adapting this to your needs?
I’m guessing the examples in this post didn’t exactly meet your situation. We all use Excel differently, so it’s impossible to write a post that will meet everybody’s needs. By taking the time to understand the techniques and principles in this post (and elsewhere on this site) you should be able to adapt it to your needs.
But, if you’re still struggling you should:
- Read other blogs, or watch YouTube videos on the same topic. You will benefit much more by discovering your own solutions.
- Ask the ‘Excel Ninja’ in your office. It’s amazing what things other people know.
- Ask a question in a forum like Mr Excel, or the Microsoft Answers Community. Remember, the people on these forums are generally giving their time for free. So take care to craft your question, make sure it’s clear and concise. List all the things you’ve tried, and provide screenshots, code segments and example workbooks.
- Use Excel Rescue, who are my consultancy partner. They help by providing solutions to smaller Excel problems.
Don’t go yet, there is plenty more to learn on Excel Off The Grid. Check out the latest posts: