Advantages of using VBA over Macros

January 15, 2017

Some experienced Excel users find Macros simple and easy to use, however, there are some major limitations to using Macros. Some of these limitations are associated with the amount of control the User has regarding when and how the Macros tasks are performed, and the difficulty in setting conditions for those tasks.

It is also extremely difficult to trap errors that may have been unknowingly brought into the execution of the Macros. This makes it very difficult for the User to pinpoint and debug these errors. This can often cause more work (and lost time) than if the User had manually done the process. Quite the opposite effect than what the User was hoping for when implementing the Macro.

The good news is, there is another Solution!  With some simple VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) programming, all of the functions available in the intended Macros can be replaced, as well as many more tasks and functions can be added in, which would not have been possible using Macros by itself.  Just to give you a better perspective, here is a small list of some advantages of using VBA over Macros for your review:


  • VBA can trap and handle errors
    At any given time, all tasks can produce unexpected and unforeseen errors due to various circumstances. VBA will identify and trap these errors where they are, at the time that they occur, allowing the User to identify the problem (and the cause) and avoid any undesirable consequences cause be these errors.


  • VBA will execute faster than macros
    Although the difference in speed may not be noticed when using simple macros, it will be greatly noticed when using VBA in place of complex macros.


  • VBA has much more functionality than Macros
    Macros is limited. VBA allows much more complex navigation, advanced execution, and many more conditions to be imposed on the tasks you wish to perform.


  • VBA allows you to connect to other applications
    VBA allows for Automation, the ability to work directly on applications like Word and Excel while still in Access. VBA can be used to programmatically control these applications, saving the User a great deal of time.


  • VBA will make the database more maintainable
    Macros are not saved with the form they are designed to act on, but as separate objects, whereas your VBA code is saved with the form it belongs to.


  • VBA will allow for the use of Public Variables
    VBA will allow for values to be assigned and retained in forms and the database, creating Public Variables in modules that can be passed on and used to generate various forms, charts and reports.


Give us a call to learn more about the advantages of VBA over Macros for your everyday Excel use!

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