Visual Basic Code of the Week (COTW)
Issue #57
Online Version at (paid subscribers only)
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Requirements for this Issue

The source code in this issue is designed for Visual Basic 4.0 32-bit and above. This issue requires the source code from issue number 13 for the routine GenericArrayToString which converts an array into a single delimited string.

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In this Issue

The module included in this issue shows how to copy files using the built-in Windows SHFileOperation API call. This is the same routine that Windows Explorer uses when it copies, deletes, renames or moves files. It will allow your application to show a progress bar and a custom title (if desired). It will also allow you to copy an entire directory and its subdirectories in one function call.

This issue will only discuss how to copy files, but similiar routines can be used to delete, move or rename files.

Some additional features that are available in the ShFileOperation call can be seen in the documented constants that appear in the source code near the end of this issue. One feature that could be useful is the ability to undo the operation.


There is one public function in this module that does the entire copy function. You pass it the source and destination and it does the rest.

Public Sub CopyFiles(Window As Form, vSourceFiles As Variant, vDestFiles As Variant, _
             Optional sTitle As String = "", Optional bIncludeSubDirs As Boolean = False)



Returns any error raised in the CopyFiles routine. If the user cancels the copy it will return 117.

Sample Usage

The first sample will copy the list of source directories into e:\temp2. The second sample will copy all files in e:\temp to e:\temp3\new and will show a custom title "Backing up files"

    Example #1:

    Dim saSource() As String

    ReDim saSource(1 To 3)
    saSource(1) = "e:\temp\msdn\*.*"
    saSource(2) = "e:\temp\b077\*.*"
    saSource(3) = "e:\temp\s011\*.*"

    On Error Resume Next
    CopyFiles Me, saSource, "e:\temp2\", , True
    If Err = 117 Then
        MsgBox "Operation Cancelled."
        If Err <> 0 Then
            MsgBox Err.Description
        End If
    End If

    Example #2:

    On Error Resume Next
    CopyFiles Me, "e:\temp\*.*", "e:\temp3\new", "Backup up files", True
    If Err = 117 Then
        MsgBox "Operation Cancelled."
        If Err <> 0 Then
            MsgBox Err.Description
        End If
    End If

Source Code

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