Guide Excel 2007 Macros Made Easy

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Therefore, in this section, we set-up a macro that does the following three things:. I have already explained how you can get the Developer tab to show up in Excel. Since you only need to ask Excel one time to display the Developer tab, the image below only shows the actual recording of the macro. For this particular example, I have used the parameters described above when working with the Record Macro dialog. I hope you have found it easy to create your first Excel macro.

At the very least, I hope that you realize that the basics of Excel macros are not as complicated as they may seem at first sight. I know that the macro we have recorded above is a very basic example and, in other posts about VBA and macros, I dig deeper in more complicated topics that allow you to set up more complex and powerful macros.

However, it is true that the information in the previous sections of this Macro Tutorial for Beginners is enough to set up a relatively wide variety of macros.

In the Excel Bible , John Walkenbach explains that:. In most cases, you can record your actions as a macro and then simply replay the macro; you don't need to look at the code that's automatically generated. I have quoted twice how John Walkenbach, one of the most prolific authors on the topic of spreadsheets, implies that casual users of Excel macros do not necessarily need to learn programming. However, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't learn programming. If you are committed to unleashing the power of Excel macros, you will have to learn Visual Basic for Applications.

Programming Excel macros using VBA is more powerful than simply recording the macros for several reasons, the main one being that using VBA code allows you to carry tasks that can't be recorded using the Macro Recorder. If I had the space, I could go continue to create a really long list of examples of how programming with VBA is a superior way to create macros than using the Macro Recorder. In fact, Mr. You have already learned how to set up a macro in Excel and, as you saw in the most recent sections, the macro is working.

In order to start learning how to program macros, it is useful to take a look at the actual instructions or code behind that you have produced when recording the macro. In order to do this, you need to activate the Visual Basic Editor. The VBE window is customizable so it is quite possible that the window that is displayed in your computer looks slightly different from the above screenshot.

The Visual Basic Editor menu bar is, pretty much, like the menu bars that you use in other programs. More precisely, a menu bar contains the drop-down menus where you can find most of the commands that you use to give instructions to, and interact with, the VBE. If you're working with more recent versions of Excel or later , you may have noticed that Excel itself does not have a menu bar but, rather, a Ribbon.

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The reason for this is that, from Microsoft Office , Microsoft has has replaced the menus and toolbars of some programs with the Ribbon. The VBE Toolbar, just like it happens with the menu bar, is similar to the toolbars you may have encountered when using other types of software. To be more exact, the toolbar contains items such as on-screen buttons, icons, menus and similar elements. The toolbar displayed in the screenshot above is the standard and default toolbar of the Visual Basic Editor.


As explained above, if you have a newer version of Excel starting with you won't see neither a toolbar nor a menu bar on the Excel window because Microsoft replaced both of these items with the Ribbon. The Project Window is the part of the VBE where you can find a list of all the Excel workbooks that are open and the add-ins that are loaded. This section is useful for navigation purposes. There may be several folders for different types of items, such as sheets, objects, forms and modules. I explain what all of these are in other VBA and macro tutorials.

The Properties Window is the section of the VBE that you use to edit the properties of anything you may have selected in the Project Window. I explain how you can get the Visual Basic Editor to display the code of your macros in the next section. There are two main reasons for this:. Now that you know what you're looking at when working with the Visual Basic Editor, let's go ahead and learn how you can see the actual code of the macro you have created….

Let's go back to it and take a closer look at the screenshot above:. You can see the elements inside the first folder Microsoft Excel Objects but not inside the second Modules. The items that appear in the Microsoft Excel Objects folder may look familiar. However, you may wonder…. In other words, a module is where the VBA code is actually stored. If you have followed along the example in this Excel Macro Tutorial for Beginners, your macro code is in a module, more precisely in Module The good news is that, to a certain extent, it probably does make a little bit of sense.

However, you may feel that you're not fully understanding all of the instructions in the Excel macro you created.

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You may also be wondering… why does something as simple as writing some text, auto-fitting a column, coloring a cell and changing the font color require so much programming? As you may have noticed, VBA code is kind of similar to English. In VBA for Excel Made Simple , Keith Darlington an experienced programming teacher explains how structured English which is similar to regular English can be a helpful intermediate step to think the instructions that a macro should follow before actually writing those instructions in Visual Basic for Applications.

Therefore, you are probably able to understand some of the words, and perhaps even some of the instructions above. However, if you are currently learning about Excel macros, you may want to understand what every single line of code means, so let's understand some of these basics of VBA code.


To understand each of the instructions behind the macro that you have recorded, let's check out the entire code line-by-line and item-by-item, which is how Excel executes the macro. You'll notice not only this time but generally when recording macros that the VBA code may include some actions that you didn't actually carry out. In other words, at the moment you don't need to worry about the lines of code that appear to be useless.

I may explain, in future tutorials, how you can remove them. The Programming Window that contains the code of the macro that you have created has the following parts:. Sub stands for Sub procedure. This is one of the two types of macros or procedures that you can use in Excel. The other type of procedure is a Function procedure. Function procedures are used to carry out calculations and return a value. Auto-fits column. Cell color red. Font color blue. As I explain above, this particular statement makes Excel auto-fit the column of the active cell so that the text that the macro has typed fits fully within it.

The Excel macro you created has already carried two out of the four actions it is supposed to perform:. As you probably expect, the next activity that Excel carries out is to color the active cell red. You'd expect that coloring the active cell is a simple step. However, it turns out that Excel needs to carry out a lot of steps in order to carry out this action.

This is the reason why With…End With statements exist. The main purpose of a With…End With statement is to simplify the syntax by executing several instructions which all refer to the same object without having to refer to that object each time. In the case of the example used in this guide for beginners, this object is the active cell. As you can see in the screenshot below, the basic macro that you have recorded has two With…End With statements:. Now that you have a basic understanding of what a With…End With statement does, let's take a look at the first one line-by line:.

This line tells Excel that it should always refer to the interior of the active cell when executing the statements that are part of the With…End With statement.

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This is the first line of the With…End With statement that makes reference to the interior of the active cell. It tells Excel to set the inner pattern of the active cell to a solid color. It does this as follows:. This is the statement that actually announces to Excel what is the color it should use to fill the interior of the active cell. This line orders Excel to not lighten nor darken the color that was chosen for the active cell filling. When TintAndShade is set equal to 0 as in this case , the property is fixed to neutral and, therefore, there is no lightening or darkening of the color selected for the active cell.

As you may imagine, this line conveys to Excel that it should set no tint nor shade pattern for the interior of the active cell. Therefore, the subsequent lines of code make reference to a different object than that to which this With…End With statement did. In the case of the example used in this Excel Macro Tutorial for Beginners, the end of the first With…End With statement indicates that the subsequent statements do not make reference to the interior of the active cell.

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Learn Macros in 7 Minutes (Microsoft Excel)

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