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How Big Can A Variable Be?


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There is no specific limit to the number of characters that a string variables, such as T5, can contain. One Macro Express user reads an entire file that may be up to a gigabyte in size into a string variable. (This only works with Text files, not binary files.) There are practical limits, however. Your computer needs to have a LOT of memory to be able to store a gigabyte of data in a string variable. And, doing this may cause a slower computer to lock up.


Since you are reading numbers, you may be planning on having your macro convert them into a numeric variable such as an integer (%N1%) or decimal (%D1%). There are fixed size limits on integer and decimal variables.


From the Macro Express help:

Note: An integer variable (N1, etc.) can range from –2147483648 to 2147483647. When the value exceeds 2147483647, it ‘wraps’. If an integer variable contains 2147483647 and you add 1 to it, the integer variable will contain –2147483648.
Note: A decimal variable (D1) can range from 5.0 x 10^ -324 to 1.7 x 10^308 with 15 to 16 significant digits. This first example is a decimal expanded to include 324 leading zeros followed by the number 5, represented as .000(321 more zeros)5. The second range extends to 17 followed by 308 zeros which would look like 1700000000(300 more zeros).0. The numbers are rounded to 15 or 16 significant digits.
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