Microsoft Office Excel is a powerful tool you can use to create and format spreadsheets, and analyze and share information to make more informed decisions. With the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface, rich data visualization, and PivotTable views, professional-looking charts are easier to create and use. Office Excel 2007, combined with Excel Services, a new technology that will ship with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, provides significant improvements for sharing data with greater security. You can share sensitive business information more broadly with enhanced security with your coworkers, customers, and business partners. By sharing a spreadsheet using Office Excel 2007 and Excel Services, you can navigate, sort, filter, input parameters, and interact with PivotTable views directly on the Web browser.
Introduction to Macros in Excel
VBA is "Visual Basic for Application" . It is a programming language that allows users to program macros to accomplish complex tasks within an application like Excel, Word, Power Point, Access, etc. With VBA for Excel you can develop small procedures (macros) that will make your professional life easier and allow you to do more in less time. But VBA is also a very powerful programming language with which you can develop within Excel real programs that will accomplish in a few minutes very complex tasks. With VBA for Excel you can develop a program that does EXACTLY what you need and it is easy to learn.
Where does VBA come from?
In the '70's a new computer language appeared called Basic. Some of you used it on advanced calculators (TI 59) and on old COCO64 from Radio Shack. At the time, RAM (memory) and CPU's (the brain of the computer) were very, very small and there were limits to what you could do with the language.
With today's computers came Visual Basic (VB). It is still Basic but a lot of elements are pre-programmed making the user's task much simpler. Microsoft adopted the language and introduced it as a component of all its applications.
Should you learn VBA or VB?
Let's say that VB is for programmers and VBA is for users (or developers). If you are not a programmer adopt VBA for Excel because most of the functions that are needed to organize and analyze business data are pre-programmed in Excel. It costs a lot less to develop financial and management applications in Excel than to re-invent the wheel and do everything in VB.
What is the difference between VB, VBA for Excel, VBA for Access, VBA for Word, VBA for Project, etc?
To answer this question I will ask you to imagine a meeting of five English speaking persons, a lawyer, an accountant, a physician, a chemist and a psychologist. They all speak English but when it is time to talk about their work none of them totally understand the other. It is the same with VB and VBA's. The objects, properties and methods vary substantially from one sub-language to the other.
But basically if you speak English you can speak VB or any of the VBA's.
VBA for Excel is the most user friendly because of the macro recorder that can assist you in writing the code and because you can test your procedures step by step while seeing it at work directly in your workbook. Along the test you can modify things, go back a few lines and re test them. Not only the language is easy but the programming toll is very user friendly.