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Excel Macros for the Non-Programmer


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Even people who are experts at using Microsoft Excel don't often venture into the area of macros. Those that do are often satisfied with simple recorded macros and never look at the code that makes them work. "I'm an accountant not a programmer," is the common feeling.

Don't limit your Excel training. Excel VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), the language of macros, is a programming language that many non-programmers have embraced and become quite skilled at. Take a look at some of the features of this simple yet powerful language.

English-like syntax
When most people think of programming, they imagine lines like "Stack object [semi]attribute x18 flag set? Const x0119:x14". You won't see a statement like that in macro training. Excel VBA uses simple commands that are easy to read even if you don't know anything about programming. Consider the following example:

For each Employee in EmployeeList
Employee.Salary = Employee.Salary + 500
Next Employee

It doesn't take a computer science degree to guess that these statements give each employee a $500 bump in pay.

With a little bit of training, Excel VBA programming will be as natural as speaking.

Controls and forms
As you'll see in your training, Excel VBA offers more than just equations. You can add controls to your spreadsheets such as buttons and menus. These controls allow the creation of a more intuitive user interface that makes your spreadsheet application easier to use.

Macros also allow you to create dialogue boxes, custom forms, and other objects to take communication between the spreadsheet and the user to new heights. After your training in Excel VBA, your users may not even realize they are using an Excel spreadsheet!

Better looking spreadsheets
Some calculations are simply too complex to fit into a single cell. Sometimes it requires a series of cells in between the data source and the results, each with an intermediate result. These can make a spreadsheet look sloppy.

There are ways to hide the intermediate calculations, such as setting the font colour the same as the background so they are invisible. The problem is that to someone editing the spreadsheet, the cells look empty and might be deleted by accident.

Excel VBA courses give you a better solution. Macros can be as long and involved as you like and allow even the most complex equations to be easily placed in a single cell. Create new commands of your own design that add powerful new functionality to all of your spreadsheet projects.
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