Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Excel’s Role in Microsoft’s Strategy
h Easy access to controls: Excel makes it very easy to add controls, such as buttons, list
boxes, and option buttons, to a worksheet. Implementing these controls often requires
little or no macro programming.
h Custom dialog boxes: You can easily create professional-looking dialog boxes by
creating UserForms.
h Custom worksheet functions: With VBA, you can create custom worksheet functions to
simplify formulas and calculations.
h Customizable user interface: Developers have lots of control over the user interface. In
previous versions, changing the interface involved creating custom menus and toolbars.
Beginning with Excel 2007, it involves modifying the Ribbon. Changing the Ribbon
interface is not as easy as it was in previous versions, but you can still do it.
h Customizable shortcut menus: Using VBA, you can customize the right-click,
contextsensitive shortcut menus.
h Powerful data analysis options: Excel’s PivotTable feature makes it easy to summarize
large amounts of data with very little effort. The data can reside in a worksheet or in an
external database.
h Microsoft Query: You can access important data directly from the spreadsheet
environment. Data sources include standard database file formats, text files, and Web pages.
h Extensive protection options: Your applications can be kept confidential and protected
from changes by casual users.
h Ability to create add-ins: With a single command, you can create add-in files that bring
new features to Excel.
h Support for automation: With VBA, you can control other applications that support
automation. For example, your VBA macro can generate a report in Microsoft Word.
h Ability to create Web pages: You can easily create a HyperText Markup Language
(HTML) document from an Excel workbook. The HTML is very bloated, but it’s readable
by Web browsers.
Excel’s Role in Microsoft’s Strategy
Currently, most copies of Excel are sold as part of Microsoft Office — a suite of products that
includes a variety of other programs. (The exact programs that you get depend on which version
of Office you buy.) Obviously, it helps if the programs can communicate well with each other.
Microsoft is at the forefront of this trend. All the Office products have extremely similar user
interfaces, and all support VBA.
Therefore, after you hone your VBA skills in Excel, you’ll be able to put them to good use in other
applications — you just need to learn the object model for the other applications.
 
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