What is VBA, How it Works in Excel (Guide)

What is VBA?

VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) is a Programming Language that empowers you to automate almost every action which you normally do manually. With VBA, you can write codes that can create a pivot table, inserting a chart, and show a message box to the user.

what-is-vba

The crazy thing is:

For all the tasks which you perform manually in minutes, VBA can do it in seconds, with a single click, with the same accuracy. Even you can write VBA codes that can run automatically when you open a document, a workbook, or even on a specific time.

Let me show you a real-life example:

Every morning when I go to the office, the first thing I need to do is to create a pivot table for the month to date sales and present it to my boss. This includes the same steps, every day. But when I realized that I can use VBA to create a pivot table and insert it in a single click, it saved me 5 minutes every day.

Note: VBA is one of the Advanced Excel Skills.

How VBA Works

VBA is an Object-Oriented Language and as an object-oriented language, in VBA, we structure our codes in a way where we are using objects and then defining their properties.

how-vba-works

In simple words, first, we define the object and then the activity which we want to perform. There are objects, collections, methods, and properties which you can use in VBA to write your code.

Don’t miss this: Let’s say you want to tell someone to open a box. The words you will use would be “Open the Box”. It’s plain English, Right? But when it comes to VBA and writing a macro this will be:

Box.Open

As you can see, the above code is started with the box which is our object here and then we have used the method “Open” for it. Let’s go a bit specific, let say if you want to open the box which is RED in color. And for this the code will be:

Boxes(“Red”).Open

In the above code, boxes are the collection and open is the method. If you have multiple boxes we are defining a specific box here. Here’s another way:

Box(“Red”).Unlock = True

In the above code, again boxes are the collection and Unlock is the property that is set to TRUE.

What is VBA used for in Excel?

In Excel, you can use VBA for different things. Here are few:

  • Enter Data: You can enter data in a cell, range of cells. You can also copy and paste data from one section to another.
  • Task Automation: You can automate tasks that want you to spend a lot of time. The best example I can give is using a macro to create a pivot table.
  • Create a Custom Excel Function: With VBA, you can also create a Custom User Defined Function and use it in the worksheet.
  • Create Add-Ins: In Excel, you can convert your VBA codes into add-ins and share them with others as well.
  • Integrate with other Microsoft Applications: You can also integrate Excel with other Microsoft applications. Like, you can enter data into a text file.

Macro Examples PDF

How to Learn VBA

The best way to learn VBA is to go topic by topic, and that’s why I have listed some of the most amazing tutorials that can help you learn VBA in NO TIME.