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How to check with VBA if an excel formula has multiple terms in it?

My macro creates formulas to be displayed in word, so I don't want unnecessary brackets. The formula obtained from an excel cell will be multiplied by a factor, so a bracket will be necessary if it has many terms.

eg the factor is A20, I want the program to know that if the formula is A1, the A1*A20 is fine without bracket, however if the formula is A1+B1, then A1+B1*A20 is incorrect. It will have to be (A1+B1)*A20. I'll deal with the brackets the current function should just return if there are multiple terms.

It is fine if the answer just explains how the program should work, in case you don't use VBA. (Ideally an explanation should have enough detail for me to be able to write the correct program based on it)

Example inputs and outputs (true for multiple terms)
I: (A1-B1)/LOG(A1-B1)                               O: False
I: (A1+B1)/(A2-B2)                                      O:False
I: PI()/A1                                                       O: False
I: A1                                                              O:False

I: LOG(A1)-(A1-B1)/C1                                O:True
I: A1+B1                                                       O: True
I: (A1+B1)/(A2-B2)-(C1+D1)/(C2-D2)         O:True

Previous ideas
I was considering some not too elegant solutions before.
For example I could just substitute some numbers into the formula (with the factor) and see if adding a bracket returns a different value. (I think this would not always work)

I was also considering finding each + and - sign and looking for the terms next to them to see if they are enclosed in a bracket together somewhere. I'm not sure how to implement this and I can't prove to myself that it always works.
Laszlo Benedek
Laszlo Benedek
1 Solution

you could use a function like this
Sub Macro()
res = CellRegexSimple("(A1+B1)/(A2-B2)-(C1+D1)/(C2-D2)", "[\-\+](?=\()|([\-\+])(?!.*\))")
End Sub

Function CellRegexSimple(Myrange As String, strPattern As String) As Boolean
      Dim regex As Object
      Set regex = CreateObject("VBScript.RegExp")
      Dim strInput As String

      If strPattern <> "" Then
          strInput = Myrange

          With regex
              .Global = True
              .MultiLine = True
              .IgnoreCase = False
              .Pattern = strPattern
          End With

          If regex.Test(strInput) Then
              CellRegexSimple = True
              CellRegexSimple = False
          End If
      End If
      Set regex = Nothing
End Function

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