For...Next Syntax Question VBA

I've taken over some systems at a college and some of the Access databases contain some code which has not been touched for years because "it works" and everyone is too afraid to alter it! Basically, the code takes a student's selected courses and allocates them to classes which is a lot more complex than it initially sounds. Anyway, I can figure out a lot of it, but I am a little perplexed by the code shown below which crops up in similar format throughout:

    For i = 1 To 4: choices(i) = "": pos(i) = 0: groups(i) = 0: Next i

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It looks to me like the For...Next loop is being compressed into a single line. Would I be correct? In theory I should be able to expand the code out to a more standard four lines. I just want to make sure that my assumption is correct before messing with code which is nearly two decades old!
Karl_markAsked:
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pdebaetsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Yes. The colon is a statement separator, allowing you to put more than one statement on a line. You could write the same as

For i = 1 To 4
    choices(i) = ""
    pos(i) = 0
    groups(i) = 0
Next i

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Looks like some arrays are being initialized.
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dtelferConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi Karl,

you are completely corect.  the colon (":") acts as a command seperator in many dialects of BASIC, allowing multiple lines of code to be specified on a single source file line.  

You can separate the code into five lines by replacing the colons with carriage returns, which will substantially improve readability for you and the rest of your team.

For i = 1 to 4
   choices(i) = ""
   pos(i) = 0
   groups(i) = 0
Next i

Open in new window

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peter57rCommented:
Yes -it's exactly the same as a vertically presented set of 5 lines .
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Simon BallCommented:
I assumed the : was a terminator but did a little accdb investigation to see if i could test the loop and output results using a "normal" for/next to get it to run in access 2010, and I get "subscript out of range" on . : pos(i) = 0

Not used arrays in Access for a long time though so it could be my error... SO you might be wise to test loops with ":" in in newer versions of access if you are using an older version and intending to upgrade.
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Karl_markAuthor Commented:
Thanks all. I'll set about making the code more legible. It was written by a mathematician back in around 1992, and I'm trying to fathom how it actually does the allocation; there are lots of number variables thrown in with no commenting, so I'm adding some logfiles to see how it processes the records.
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Simon BallCommented:
Sounds fun! Good luck :)
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