What Are VBA Macros in Microsoft Excel Michigan

Do you find yourself having to enter the same sequence of tasks into Excel on a day-to-day basis? What if we told you it’s possible to automate these tasks so that it can be done in a single click of a button? Witchcraft you say? Nope—just business software companies thinking of ways to make your life easier. 

In this blog post, we will explain how VBA macros in Excel can be used to automate a lot of the repetitive tasks you do in Microsoft Excel on a regular basis.

What are VBA macros?

VBA stands for Visual Basic for Applications, a programming language used to automate a series of tasks in Excel and other Microsoft Office programs. VBA is designed to be accessible and works throughout a variety of Microsoft programs. 

Macros, on the other hand, are a type of code that allows you to program certain functions within Excel, such as calculating numbers, changing formatting, and more. They’re essentially a type of shortcut that you can create yourself. Once you learn how VBA macros work in Excel, you’ll be able to streamline productivity. 

Excel has made it easier to automate tasks by using the macro recorder to record keystrokes in a series of tasks. A Microsoft software consultant can also help you implement VBA macros in Excel to make your life easier.

READ MORE: Do I Need Microsoft Excel? >>

What are some tips for using VBA macros in Microsoft Excel?

To streamline your company’s workflow, we recommend consulting with a Microsoft Excel consulting company. They’ll be able to automate many of the repetitive tasks you do on a daily basis so that you can improve company productivity. Below, we give our tips for using the macro recorder effectively in Microsoft Excel.

  • Keep Macro Names Short and Easy to Remember
  • Think carefully about the names you assign to macros. If you end up needing a lot of macros, you’ll want to make sure the names are short, yet descriptive enough that you’ll be able to choose the right one from the Macro Dialog Box.

  • Create Small Macros
  • Macros are most useful when they automate short series of tasks. While we understand the temptation to create a large macro, Microsoft Excel will run slower when it’s forced to chug through a long list of tasks. 

    Since many companies use large spreadsheets, you’ll especially want to make sure macros are kept small and address a specific task so as not to slow down Microsoft Excel. Small macros also make it easier for you to catch mistakes in the spreadsheet because you are only automating a few steps at a time.

  • Use Relative Cell Addresses
  • The macro recorder in Microsoft Excel is automatically set to record absolute cell addresses. Like the name suggests, absolute cell addresses refer to specific locations in your spreadsheet, such as B7 or H14. In general, you want to avoid using absolute cell addresses because it limits the usefulness of the macro when data is added or removed. 

    Macros that use absolute cell addresses will also lose usefulness if your list of data points gets longer or shorter. Macros that use relative cell addresses will still remain useful when data changes because the keystrokes recorded into the macro will be relative to the location of the starting cell.

  • Navigate with Directional Keys (Not Mouse)
  • We recommend not using your mouse unless you have to select or click options from the menu. The directional keys on your keyboard are much more reliable when using the macro recorder.

  • Save Your File Properly
  • When macros are enabled, you need to save your file as an .xlsm instead of .xls or .xlsx. If you try to save it as a normal spreadsheet, you’ll get a warning message. Simply click “Save As” and select .xlsm as your option when saving to avoid difficulty. 

Want to Learn More?

The Microsoft Excel consultants at Thesis Tech are dedicated to helping business owners just like you learn how to unlock the full capabilities of Excel. If you are interested in learning how Microsoft Excel can improve your company’s productivity and workflow through Excel VBA programming, be sure to give our business system developers a call at (888) 705-7253.

This blog post has been updated.

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