Excel: Introduction to VBA

VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) is a programming language, based on Visual Basic and implemented into Microsoft Office applications. It is used to develop programs that control the Microsoft Office applications, such as Excel. It is simpler than other programming languages because there is no need to write sophisticated applications. Thanks to its simplicity, it is also more user-friendly and easier to learn. 

What is a Macro?

The macro is a piece of code that is written in the VBA language. 

You can create macros using two ways:

  1. With the special Excel tool called the macro recorder, which converts the recorded macro to VBA code.
  2. By writing your own VBA code.

Writing a VBA macro is harder than recording a macro, but when you write your code you also have more control and there is a lot of things that you can’t achieve by only using the macro recorder. 

The potential use of VBA

The list of things you can do with VBA is vast because everybody has different needs and goals regarding Excel. Below, you will find a few examples where you can use macros: 

  • Your own Excel add-ins.
  • Formatting cells, rows, and columns.
  • Custom buttons in the Quick Access toolbar.
  • Your own functions.
  • Automating repetitive actions.

These are just a few possible uses of VBA, but I think you will find more of them. 

Pros and cons of VBA

Pros

  • It keeps performing the very same way each time it is executed.
  • VBA will never get bored.
  • It is very fast.

Cons

  • You need to know how to program in VBA.
  • There might be a mistake in your VBA code or thing that you didn’t take into account, so you can’t blindly assume that it will always perform as you intended.