In its broadest sense, an Excel macro is a sequence of instructions that automates some aspect of Excel so that you can work more efficiently and with fewer errors. You may create a macro, for example, to format and print your month-end sales report. After the macro is developed, you can then execute the macro to perform many time-consuming procedures automatically.
Macros are written in VBA, which stands for Visual Basic for Applications. VBA is actually a programming language developed by Microsoft, and is a tool used to develop programs that control Excel.
Excel programming terminology can be a bit confusing. For example, VBA is a programming language, but it also serves as a macro language. What do you call something written in VBA and executed in Excel? Is it a macro or is it a program? Excel's Help system often refers to VBA procedures as macros, so this is the terminology used in this book. But you can also call VBA code a program.
You'll also see the term automate throughout this book. This term means that a series of steps are completed automatically. For example, if you write a macro that adds color to some cells, prints the worksheet, and then removes the color, you have automated those three steps.
People use Excel for thousands of different tasks. Here are just a few examples:
• Keeping lists of things such as customer names and transactions
• Budgeting and forecasting
• Analyzing scientific data
• Creating invoices and other forms
• Developing charts ...