At Excel Consultant, our team of expert instructors, programmers, and advisers is passionate about helping individuals and businesses harness the power of Microsoft technology. Many people merely skim the surface of what programs like Excel can accomplish, never realizing how useful they could truly be. Our cutting-edge consultants have devoted themselves to learning everything they can about this software, educating our clients about it, and developing custom-tailored solutions to pressing IT problems.
We’re always delighted to see people strengthening their knowledge of Microsoft programs and realizing their full potential. That’s why we’re excited to draw attention to one of the best free resources on the web, VBA Express. This site includes trainings, forums, blogs, and more, making it a fantastic source of information for anyone who wants to become more competent with any application in the Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Access, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint), as well as the SQL Server (Microsoft’s database system). Read on to learn more about what VBA Express has to offer.
What is VBA?
“VBA” is a common acronym amongst Microsoft aficionados. It stands for “Visual Basic for Application,” a relatively user-friendly coding language you can use to manipulate Microsoft’s most popular programs, such as Access, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, the SQL Server, and—our personal favorite—Excel. In essence, VBA provides the blocks from which you can build all sorts of Microsoft applications. VBA is a “macro,” meaning that it can allow you to execute more complicated actions using just a few keystrokes. To give you a sense of what you might be able to do with VBA, you can use this language to create applications that:
- Automatically type certain information (like your name) into documents
- Create customized toolbars that make programs easier for you and your coworkers to use
- Merge different mail functions to simplify your communications
- Instantly delete document elements you don’t need
VBA allows you to play with Excel and other Microsoft programs in new, innovative, and highly practical ways. Investing a bit of time, energy, and effort into learning the fundamentals of VBA could make your work (and life) much easier in the long run. Primarily, VBA allows you to fully customize and integrate various Office applications, letting you manipulate data, files, and much more. With strategic VBA coding, you could perform tasks that used to take days in just minutes (many macros run in mere seconds).
What Does VBA Express Offer?
At its core, VBA Express is a community. The expert coders at VBA Express create free training materials, post VBA code snippets you can plug in and play with, and answer members’ specific questions. The VBA Express team can also help you with much more than just VBA—they provide tips and tricks for using every aspect of Microsoft applications, such as formulas for Excel.You can explore the forums, read blog posts, watch Excel webinars, and browse other recommended resources at absolutely no charge. VBA Express also maintains a massive “knowledge base” of helpful data, which you can search through and pluck code from for free. If you’d like to further expand your Excel horizons, you can invest in paid services, such as higher-level instruction or emergency tech support.
Why Pivot Tables Are Pivotal On VBA Express
The VBA Express team often focuses on teaching members about pivot tables, one of the most applicable yet underutilized functions in Excel. Basically, pivot tables can analyze, summarize, simplify, and graphically represent sets of data created in an Excel spreadsheet. With pivot tables, you can interactively filter only the information you need. This is very useful for businesses.
For example, you may have a massive invoice with thousands of lines, detailing every charge you’ve ever made to a major client. Trying to answer that client’s questions about their bill could take hours if you had to sift through the invoice manually, but you don’t. You can simply create a pivot table to highlight the most recent charges, select certain types of services, or check your math.
Excel Consultant’s very own Dennis Taylor gave two webinars on pivot tables for VBA Express. In addition, you can read more about pivot tables on the blog or pose your particular questions about them on the forum.
Answers From an MVP
When you go in search of Microsoft knowledge on VBA Express, you can rest assured that you’re learning from the very best. Many in the VBA Express community are Microsoft MVPs, or “Most Valued Professionals,” with Excel MVPs making up the largest segment. To earn the coveted title of MVP, experts must demonstrate exceptional skill, make impressive contributions to the Microsoft community, and show a willingness to share their knowledge for free in forums like VBA Express.
Jacob Hildebrand, one of our premier developers, helped found this group and co-owns it. He has been named a Microsoft MVP for three years running, in part because he has been so active on VBA Express. Jacob has worked on a handful of Excel projects directly for Microsoft. He also attends every annual Microsoft MVP Program in Seattle. These four to five day events bring the top tier of Microsoft professionals together for days full of information sessions, parties, and more.
Take the Express Route to Excel Expertise
If you’d like to discover what Excel could do for your company, VBA Express is a great place to start. When you’re ready to take your operations to the next level with more advanced programming or customized consulting, the Excel Consultant team would be delighted to help. Contact us today to find out more about our services or schedule an appointment.