Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Lesson 25: Not Gone, Not Forgotten
not Gone, not Forgotten
With each release of Excel, Microsoft typically introduces new features that are meant to
help make it easier and more productive to work with your spreadsheets. Over the course of
Excel’s evolution, older features that were state of the art in their day have been cast aside
for newer ways of doing things. Some of those older features are still supported in all
versions of Excel, and although they’ve been largely forgotten, they can still be very useful in
some development circumstances.
This lesson looks at two almost-forgotten features: 5.0 dialog sheets and XLM Get.Cell
functions. You’ll also see examples of the SendKeys method, which is not so much outdated
as it is misunderstood. Each of these features can claim its useful place among your
collection of VBA tools.
using diAlog sHEETs
In Lessons 18, 19, and 20 you learned about UserForms, which first arrived on the Excel scene
with ActiveX controls in Office 97. The precursor to UserForms was an interface built from
a type of sheet called a 5.0 dialog sheet , which was used in versions Excel 5 and Excel 95.
Dialog sheets served the purpose of constructing a customized dialog box that that has almost
entirely been superseded by UserForms and their more programmable ActiveX controls.
I like dialog sheets, even in this modern era of Excel VBA. The dialog sheet is a hidden gem
that’s been mostly a forgotten art, which makes it look like a special feature when used in the
I am not recommending that you forego UserForms for dialog sheets, but dialog sheets do have
several advantages that merit their worth, for example:
Dialog sheets utilize only Forms controls which, unlike ActiveX controls, are fully
integrated with Excel and do not cause as many VBA programming errors.
You may come across older workbooks with dialog sheets, so it’s a good idea to at
least be familiar with them as you would any Excel object.