Advanced Excel: Macros, VBA, and Automation

Safalta Expert Published by: Aditi Goyal Updated Tue, 25 Apr 2023 09:01 PM IST

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Excel spreadsheets (also known as workbooks) and tabs (also known as worksheets) may be used to calculate data across any number of them, and Microsoft Excel has been helping businesses do this for decades. With the help of the toolbar, you can look up and compile data from a variety of sources, produce graphs, make pivot tables, and look up data from several sources. 

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The ability to automate repetitive activities using macros and VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) code makes Excel a formidable tool for data analysis and administration. We will go over all the information you need to know about Excel automation, VBA, and macros in this book, from the fundamentals to more complex methods.

Table of Contents
What is a VBA?
What is a Macro?
What is Automation?
Conclusion

 

What is a VBA?

Microsoft Corporation's legacy program Visual Basic includes Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Microsoft Office (MS Office, Office) apps like Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word, and Visio all support VBA as their internal programming language. VBA is also used to create programs for the Windows operating system.

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Users can customize in ways that go beyond what is typically possible with MS Office host apps.

Each program in the Office suite may include VBA code to improve it, and all of them share a similar set of programming languages. VBA has been an ideal match with Excel more so than other Office suite programs due to the repetitive nature of spreadsheets, data analytics, and organizing data. Using macros is frequently the key to understanding the connection between VBA and Excel. VBA is used to run macros in Excel, while it can also be used for non-macro tasks.
Simply press Alt + F11 to open VBA in Excel. A new window for Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications will open while your current Excel workbook continues to run. The active projects will be displayed in the upper left of the VBA window.

You can do the following through a VBA code:
  • Sorting and filtering data
  • Performing calculations and analysis
  • Generating reports and charts
  • Importing and exporting data from other sources

Since processing enormous volumes of data is at the heart of finance, VBA is pervasive in the financial services industry. Whether you're aware of it or not, VBA is probably active in programs you use on a daily basis if you work in finance. VBA is comparatively simpler to learn than other sophisticated programming languages. It is regarded as a language for beginners, and VBA coders sometimes don't need to have prior coding knowledge to master the language. The VBA community also offers a wealth of materials for those who are new to programming.
 


What is a Macro?

In Excel and other Microsoft Office applications like Access, PowerPoint, Word, and Outlook, macros are a combination of programming instructions written in VBA that automate a recurring and standardized operation.

Excel Macro is a tool that lets you record and playback Excel actions. You may use the macro to replay the recorded Excel steps as many times as you like. Time is saved by automating repetitive operations with VBA macros. It is an element of programming code that runs in the Excel environment, although creating macros doesn't require coding knowledge. Although to make sophisticated changes to the macro, you'll need a working knowledge of VBA.


How to Create a Macro?

The Developer tab is by default hidden on the ribbon. The Developer tab in Excel must be activated prior to recording a macro.
To personalize the ribbon, do the following:
  • Anywhere on the ribbon, use the right mouse button to select (by clicking) Customise the ribbon.
  • Put a tick in the Developer checkbox by selecting Customise the ribbon and navigating there.
  • Go to the Code group under the Developer tab, then click Record Macro.
  • You'll see the Record Macro dialogue box. Give the macro a name and description, and choose where to store it.
  • Carry out the tasks you want the macro to remember.
  • Select "Stop Recording" from the menu.

You have read this to understand more about Excel Macros. Through the use of a keyboard shortcut or one click, they can be utilized to complete many steps of a task. By automating the majority of the repetitive tasks we complete, macros make our work life simpler. 
 
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What is Automation?

If you're seeking for automation in Excel, you've undoubtedly used it extensively. You are aware that manually inputting large amounts of data into an Excel sheet is a very difficult operation. At that stage, automation is required.

Excel automation can be used by users to improve working with an Excel workbook in a variety of ways. In MS Excel, there are many different ways to automate, and there are a lot of advantages to doing so. Businesses may quickly and precisely replicate procedures to save time, money, and effort by simplifying complex activities. By automatically carrying out actions like cell formatting, changing values, and running macros, Excel automation streamlines the use of the program. 


Automation has the following features:

  • Conditional formatting: Apply formatting to cells based on certain conditions, such as if a value is above or below a certain threshold.
  • Data validation: Restrict the types of data that can be entered in a cell, such as only allowing whole numbers or dates.
  • Pivot tables: Summarize and analyze large datasets with interactive pivot tables and charts.
  • Power Query: Connect to external data sources and transform data with a powerful data modeling and analysis tool.


Conclusion:

Excel's automation features, macros, and VBA code can help you save time and increase productivity. By combining these tools, you can create powerful and flexible tools for data analysis and management in Excel. With practice, you can become proficient in automating tasks in Excel and save yourself countless hours of work.
 

What are the benefits of using Macros and VBA in Excel?

Using Macros and VBA can save time and increase productivity by automating repetitive tasks, reducing errors, and allowing for more advanced data analysis and manipulation.
 

Do I need programming experience to use Macros and VBA in Excel?

While some programming knowledge can be helpful, it is not necessary to use Macros and VBA in Excel. There are many resources available online to help beginners learn how to use these tools.
 

How do I edit a Macro or VBA code?

To edit a Macro or VBA code, you can open the Visual Basic Editor and select the module where the code is stored. From there, you can make changes to the code and save your changes.
 

Can I record Macros for tasks that involve multiple workbooks?

Yes, you can record Macros for tasks that involve multiple workbooks. When you record the Macro, you can choose to store it in a specific workbook or in your personal Macro workbook.
 

Can Macros and VBA code harm my computer or Excel workbook?

While Macros and VBA code can potentially harm your computer or workbook if they are maliciously designed, they are generally safe to use if they come from a trusted source. You should always be cautious when downloading and using Macros and VBA code from unknown sources.

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