As versatile as Microsoft Excel is, it doesn’t do everything. At least, not on its own it doesn’t. If you use Excel often enough, you’ll eventually run into a situation where you need functionality that it doesn’t come with by default.
This is where coding in Excel becomes useful. Excel has functionality that allows users to write scripts that it can run. These scripts can be used to broaden the scope of what you can do in Excel. And since you can write them yourself, they can be tailored to your specific needs.
But Excel coding takes a knack. And if you’ve never coded before, it can be daunting. Luckily, learning the Excel coding basics doesn’t have to be hard, especially if you follow these tips.
How Does Excel Coding Work?
By default, Excel coding uses a programming language called Excel VBA. VBA stands for Visual Basic for Applications, and it’s a variety of the Visual Basic language. Visual Basic has been a staple of Windows programming for decades.
If you’re familiar with Visual Basic already, a lot of what you know will transfer over. But even if you aren’t, learning VB isn’t as difficult as you might think. The language is designed to be simple to use.
There’s a few core concepts that you really need to be familiar with in Visual Basic. Let’s talk about a few of them, starting with the most common, macros.
In Excel, a macro is a simple program that you can create to automate certain tasks in Excel. To make one, you’ll right-click on the ribbon (the toolbar at the top of an Excel window). Then you click “Customize the Ribbon” in the drop-down menu.
This will open a menu where you can add tabs to the menu. You’ll want to click on the button marked Developer. This will add that tab to your ribbon. This is where you’ll make your macro. The tab will give you a simple editor in which to write your script.
If you’re unfamiliar with Visual Basic, Microsoft has a great series of tutorials to get you started. It walks you through important concepts such as variables. In programming, a variable is any value that can change depending on input.
Of course, while Visual Basic is a great tool and can be used to great effect, sometimes you need something even more powerful. Luckily, Excel also has support for other powerful programming languages.
C# is a powerful, easy to use programming language. It’s also supported by Excel, and can be used to expand the program anymore. Check out this page for tutorials on how to c# write to excel.
Use Excel Coding in Your Work
Excel is a powerful tool on its own. But if you need to squeeze some extra juice out of it, Excel coding is the way to go. With a little bit of work, you can do just about anything. Start coding scripts and macros today, and see the results for yourself.