Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Lesson 1: Introducing VBA
Welcome to your first lesson in Visual Basic for Applications! A good place to start is at the
beginning, where you’ll find it useful to get an understanding of where VBA came from and
what VBA is today. Once you get a feel for how VBA its into the overall Excel universe, you’ll
learn how to use VBA to manipulate Excel in ways you might never have thought possible.
WHAT is VBA?
Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is a programming language created by Microsoft to
automate operations in applications that support it, such as Excel. VBA is an enormously powerful
tool that enables you to control Excel in countless ways that you cannot do manually.
In fact, VBA is also the language that manipulates Microsoft Office applications in Access,
Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. For the purposes here, VBA is the tool you’ll use to develop
macros and manipulate the kinds of objects you will learn about in this topic to control Excel,
and to control other Office applications from Excel.
You do not need to purchase anything more than the Office suite (or the individual
application) to also own VBA. If you have Excel on your computer, you have VBA on your computer.
WHAT is A “MAcro,” AnyWAy?
Back in the day, a programming language was often called a “macro language” if
its capabilities included the automation of a sequence of commands in spreadsheet
or word processor applications. With Microsoft’s release of Office 5, VBA set a
new bar for how robust a programming language can be, with capabilities
extending far beyond those of earlier programming languages, such as the ability to create
and control objects within Excel, or to have access to disk drives and networks.