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# Variables

A variable is an object that holds a value:

`Dim myVariable as Integer = 15`

In this example, `myVariable` is an object of type `Integer`. It has been initialized with the value `15`. The formal definition for how you create a variable is:

`               `Access-Modifier Identifier` As `Type` [= `value`]`

Access modifiers are discussed later in this chapter; for now, you'll use `Dim`.

### Tip

The keyword `Dim` is short for dimension. This term dates back to the early days of BASIC programming, and is essentially vestigial.

An identifier is just a name for a variable, method, class, and so forth. In the case shown previously, the variable's identifier is `myVariable`. The keyword `As` signals that what follows is the type, in this case `Integer`. If you are initializing the variable, you follow the type with the assignment operators (=) followed by the value (e.g., `15`)

### Type characters

Variable identifiers may have a type character suffix that indicates the variable's type. For example, rather than writing `as Integer` you can use the suffix `%`.

```Dim myVariable as Integer
Dim myVariable%```

These two lines are identical in effect. Not every type is a character, but you are free to use them for those types that do. The complete set is shown in Table 16-2.

Table 16-2. Type characters

Type

Type character

Usage

`Decimal`

`@`

`Dim decimalValue@ = 123.45`

`Double`

`#`

`Dim doubleValue# = 3.14159265358979`

`Integer`

`%`

`Dim integerValue% = 1`

`Long`

`&`

`Dim longValue& = 123456789`

`Single`

`!`

`Dim singleValue! = 3.1415 ...`

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