MS Office is a consolidation of a number of applications, such as MS Word, MS Excel, MS Outlook, MS Powerpoint, and many more. Nowadays, even little children use Word and Powerpoint, but this article is not for them. VBA is a necessity for expert Office users, who use Office apps for their educational as well as professional purposes. While using Excel, or Word, you might have done some repetitive actions, like finding an email address for a particular contact name, which appears many times in the table. Every time, either you have to scroll up and check the email address or apply filter and check the email address. If the name appears more than 50 times, then applying filter will not be fruitful anymore. There can be thousands such cases. For addressing all these cases, there is a programming language called VBA. VBA is the acronym for Visual Basics for Applications. It is an extremely simple, yet powerful programming language, which can be implemented on Office Applications as well.
What is VBA?
If you are still not aware about VBA and its implementation on Office users, here is a brief overview on the advantages of using this robust and efficient programming language. As you know, there are million things, you can do with Office apps. The beauty of VBA programming language is that, whatever task you perform with mouse, keyboard and dialog box, can also be done by VBA. This gives you an insight of the flexibility and versatility of the language. The main function of VBA is to automate a task, that you have to do in your Office app repeatedly. You can customize the way you use MS Office by creating codes on VBA.
VBA is actually a tool for programming, editing and running application code. The application code is actually the code for the host application, usually and massively it is Excel, but it can be other application like Word as well. So, you can run VBA codes using Excel or any Office application, and remember, VBA is not a Standalone programming language. It can run code only within a host application. It is a combination of Microsoft’s event driven program with the integrated development environment, which together form the VBA.
Where can you use VBA?
You can use VBA in automation and repetitive tasks, in extensions to user interaction, doing things in another way or simply initiate interaction between two Office applications. Check them out in brief:
Automation and Repetition
As mentioned already in the first paragraph, that doing repetitive things is not only boring, but also time consuming. Inserting a certain disclaimer message on top or at the bottom of every page of a word document can be a tedious job if the Word document contains some thousand odd pages. If your Excel worksheet demands to display a certain value in a cell, which changes conditionally with another cell, then you can imagine, how strenuous the task would become to do it manually. With, VBA, you can solve all these issues.
Extensions to user interaction
VBA can also be used to insert warning messages, or reminders to users. For example, you can prompt the user to enter his/her Enrollment number at the beginning of the document. VBA can create a program which will automatically prompt the user with the message or warning you want.
Initiate Interaction Between Two Or More Office Applications
You can use VBA language in order to initiate interaction between various Office applications. For example, you want to import your Outlook contacts to your Excel sheets. With VBA, you have to generate a simple code that will readily import all contacts from one Office app to the other.
VBA can also help you do things in an alternate way. However, the main catch should be simplicity, if there is a simpler way, then always opt for that one. VBA is a programming language that is gaining massive popularity. If you are working with a handful of data. Then investing your energy for creating VBA codes will definitely be not a good idea. But for people who work with millions of Excel data, VBA is a boon for them surely!