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  • Dictionaries are a great way collect up lists of items, especially if you don't know how many items you will need to have in your list.

  • You can think of a dictionary exactly like a classic dictionary, there are two pieces of information. In the classic dictionary there is a word and then the definition. In the dictionary object, there is a key and an item. The key is the word, and the item is the definition.

  • If you use the "Add" method and you get an error code 457, it means that the key already exists. If there is a chance that you will be trying to add a key that might exist.   If you list will have duplicates or you are not sure, you should check to see if the item exists before trying to add the item.   See the example below on processing schematics to see how that was done.  

  • You will need to add the Microsoft Scripting Runtime reference.  Scripting How-To: Using the Microsoft Scripting Runtime library with AWR Scripting

Code Snippets

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Code Block
languagevb
 Sub Main 
   Debug.Clear 
   
   Dim kw As Dictionary 
   Set kw = New Dictionary 
   
'method one of adding a Key and Item. This method will fail if the key already exists.
   kw.Add("a","cat") 
   
'method two, if doesn't exist, is added. This method will replace the existing item with the new item if the key already exists. 
   kw("b") = "dog" 
   
'error if try to add a key that already exists, so check to see if exists before adding.
   'kw.Add("a","wrong") 
   
'assign a new item to the key of b 
   kw("b") = 1 
   
'print out if key "a" exits 
   Debug.Print kw.Exists("a") 
   
'print out if key "c" exits 
   Debug.Print kw.Exists("c") 

'prints out the item for key "a"
   Debug.Print kw("a") 
   
'prints out the key for key number 1 
   Debug.Print kw.Keys(1) 
   
'prints out the item for key number 1
   Debug.Print kw.Items(1) 
   
'keys are 0 based, below loops through all keys and prints key and item. 
   For i = 0 To kw.Count-1 
      Debug.Print kw.Keys(i) & " = " & kw.Items(i)
   Next i 
   
'remove items for dictionary by key name 
   kw.Remove("a") 
   Debug.Print "Keys ="& kw.Count 

'remove all 
   kw.RemoveAll 
   Debug.Print "Keys =" & kw.Count 

'get a list of all keys or items in the dictionary. Note that the variable used must be defined asan array (dimensioned) but not typed 
   dim temp() 
   temp = kw.keys() 
   temp = kw.items() 
   
EndSub

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Simple example to find unique elements and count them for a schematic

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Sub Main      
   Dim kw As Dictionary      
   Set kw = New Dictionary   
   
   Dim sch As Schematic      
   Dim ele As Element       
   
   Debug.Clear       
   
   Set sch Project.Schematics("Amplifier")       
   
   For Each ele In sch.Elements  
      tks = Split(ele.Name,".")           
      nm = tks(0)           
      If kw.Exists(nm) = False Then
         kw(nm) = 1  ' this assignment sets the item number of the key nm           
      Else
         kw(nm) = kw(nm)+1 'increment count if item alredy exists
      End If
   Next ele  

'print keys and count for each key.       

   For i = 1 To kw.Count-1
      Debug.Print kw.Keys(i) & " = " & kw.Items(i)
   Next i  

End Sub