Learning the Lingo: ¿Habla Visual Basic for Applications, Señorita?

OK, we don’t want to make you into a programmer, but your knowledge will be incomplete unless you at least know the basics of coding.

Why? Sometimes, an Excel macro does not record your exact actions. Rather, it keeps the result of those actions. In cases like this, a basic knowledge of coding will make the difference between fixing the macro, and being lost.

To demonstrate, we will create, from scratch, a macro that runs down a column of telephone numbers and re-formats each of them into a standard format. Along the way, we will learn about

  • Storing data in variables,
  • getting data from a cell,
  • tips for checking your code,
  • several useful built-in functions,
  • ways of getting the program to make decisions, and
  • how to repeat the same code many times for different cells.

Ready? Let’s go on:

Complete and Continue