What is Excel Visual Basic for Applications (Excel VBA)? - Tutorial

Presented below is a review of VBA, how it works, and how it is used to automate Microsoft Excel. VBA is a computer language that is hosted in Microsoft Office products like Excel or Word and can be used to control any program that is VBA compatible.

What is Excel VBA

Additional Tutorial Topics:

Key page concepts.

Please Note: The code presented on this page is fully operational and can be easily run. To run it, you will need to read 4 other key pages in our Excel VBA help, What is the VBA Editor > , What is a Procedure > ,What is a VBA module > , and How to Run a Sub Procedure >.

You will type the code in a Standard module and can ignore the green text which are comments. If you encounter a _ (space underscore) in the code, that is a line continuation for the code to continue on the next line down and can be ignored. Just type that code on one line.

Last layout the data on a worksheet (if needed) as seen in the illustrations. Place the code module in the same workbook as the data.

What is VBA?

Visual Basic for Applications or VBA is a computer programming language which is used to automate Microsoft Excel's functionality and perform simple to complex tasks. VBA procedures are also referred to as Excel Macros, VBA Macros and Macros. Microsoft Excel as well as all major Microsoft Office products like Word, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook come standard with VBA. You do not have to purchase it.

Do not confuse VBA with VB.Net. VB.Net is VBA's "older sibling" and while it shares many of VBA's good attributes and a whole lot more, it is a lot more difficult to use and requires a lot of time and knowledge to master. VBA on the other hand is very easy to operate and learn and can be used as a jumping off point to get into VB.NET among other languages.

Beginning Excel VBA for Business and Industry

Automate your time consuming, repetitive Excel tasks with the click of a button. Learn to build time-saving Excel VBA tools that perform common data processing, calculation, and formatting tasks in seconds.

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Beginning Excel VBA Training

How VBA commands and controls Excel.

VBA controls Microsoft Excel by means of writing and running a procedure which is also referred to as a macro. VBA procedures > are written in the VBA Editor > which you can get to by pressing Alt+F11 in Excel.

Excel commands are typed in the computer code that tell Excel what to do and they are run in a sequence. In addition to just Excel commands, VBA also possesses other computer programming elements like logic, loops, variables, and functions that allow very sophisticated programs to be developed that rival and surpass many programs on the market today.

Using VBA with Excel, powerful analysis tools can be developed quickly and with minimum cost. We should know, we have been building Excel software for clients for 23+ years.

In order to use VBA with Microsoft Excel > effectively, Microsoft Excel’s operational capabilities must be well understood along with its program elements like data entry, filters, charts, copy/paste, PivotTables...etc. Advanced formula construction beyond the basics is not required since VBA eliminates the need to create those horrible mega formulas that you have probably seen before (unless you want to embed them like below).

Excel VBA Automated Formula Formatting

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In the Excel VBA example above, Excel VBA is being used to place a formula with a Sum function below the table in column B and to format the table. The VBA code is pictured in the VBA Editor on the right-hand side. Excel commands like ActiveSheet, Cells, CurrentRegion, Columns, Font, Bold... can be seen in the code. These commands when run are in charge of formatting the table and placing the Sum function below it. The code adapts to any increase/decrease in table rows assuming you start with a fresh table. To learn how to type and run a procedure click here >.
Excel VBA Fundamentals for Engineers and Scientists Training

Excel VBA for Engineers and Scientists

Solve multi-step engineering and science problems with the click of a button. Learn the fundamentals of using Excel VBA to automate calculations; perform data processing; model; and create rapid reporting tools.

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