Converting macro code to function code

I have a macro that generates the string I'm using for a RegEx pattern and puts it in a cell named [RegExPattern1].

   Sub StringStrings()
   Dim i As Long, targ As Range, Ptrn As String
   Set targ = [RegExPattern1]
   targ.ClearContents
   For i = 3 To [topRegEx].End(xlDown).Row
       targ = targ & cells(i, [topRegEx].Column)
   Next i
   targ = "\d{1,3}[ /-]?(?!" & targ & ")[A-M]+"
   End Sub

After running the macro I can replace the long and periodically growing pattern in my function with this:
      .Pattern = [RegExPattern1]
However I would like to accomplish it within the function itself. Something like this:

   Dim i As Long, Ptrn As String, MyPattern As String
   For i = 3 To [topRegEx].End(xlDown).Row
       Ptrn = Ptrn & cells(i, [topRegEx].Column)
   Next i
   MyPattern = "\d{1,3}[ /-]?(?!" & Ptrn & ")[A-M]+"

Not surprisingly, it doesn't work. How would I emulate what the middle 3 lines are doing in proper function code?

Thanks,
John
LVL 1
John CarneyReliability Business Tools Analyst IIAsked:
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dlmilleCommented:
Your logic in cumulating what's in the cells appears correct, and should be similar to the original sub.  Perhaps its just organizing your function, as follows?

Function myPattern(rTopRegEx As Range) As String
Dim i As Long, Ptrn As String
Dim wks As Worksheet

   Set wks = rTopRegEx.Worksheet 'lock in the right worksheet
   
   For i = 3 To rTopRegEx.End(xlDown).Row
       Ptrn = Ptrn & wks.Cells(i, rTopRegEx.Column)
   Next i
   myPattern = "\d{1,3}[ /-]?(?!" & Ptrn & ")[A-M]+"
End Function

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Usage:
    .Pattern = myPattern([topRegEx])

Hope this helps!

Dave
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Rory ArchibaldCommented:
FYI, since you are not passing your ranges directly, you will need to make that volatile.
Also note that you cannot clear or in any way alter the [RegExPattern1] cell from your function if you are calling it from a worksheet cell.
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John CarneyReliability Business Tools Analyst IIAuthor Commented:
Hi guys, thanks. Long weekend and I've got a deadline on another project, hopefully I can get back to this tomorrow morning.
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John CarneyReliability Business Tools Analyst IIAuthor Commented:
Wow, that was a long weekend! Thanks, you guys.

- John
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