Help with learning EXCEL macros

Here’s the deal. I learned Lotus 1-2-3 easily enough, almost two decades back. But the course text never really got into macros, nor did the prof. (I can’t complain. We were taught how to transfer data between it and DBase IV, a more career-helpful skill at that time - It was a combined summer course, BTW.) A few years later I wanted to learn macros when using the 'puter at a social club. There was an excellent Lotus book handy. After a very LONG time I managed to learn the elements that the simple technique of flicking the recorder on and off do not address.

How to:

Designate a set of cells (part of a column) as the macro-

Indicate a cell as the end of the program-

Insert an instruction for unconditional branching-

… conditional branching-

Go to a subroutine-


I seem to remember writing dewn notes on what I gradually learned as above, plus cell-enter and retrieving the contents of a cell. But I didn’t save my notes. :smack: I suspect that EXCEL is once again similar enough that they would have been helpful.

NOW I want to do the same thing with EXCEL. As you may have figured, there are some thing I do not pick up especially easily. Please tell me how to do each of the above, or the best equivalent. (For all I know EXCEL macros allows for-next loops, and who know what else. That would no doubt be better than putting an “IF… THEN BRANCH to…” statement at the end of a set of instructions.)

Once I get all this down I know I will be able to write any program I desire.

Thank you in advance.

You should get a book on this. Excel macros are written in Visual Basic, so it is fairly simple, but a book will help you out a TON. The basic “Excel Bible” types will have a few chapters on it, but there are specific books just on programming macros that are god-sends. Amazon will have a bunch and I bet they are all worth it.


Sorry, forgot to say that googling “Excel Macros” will get you tons of websites with information, examples, message boards, etc.


Message boards? Do you mean like sdmb?

Thanks for the advice, but the only promising site I found didn’t have a primer. I’m learning disabled and would greatly appreciate some spoon-feeding here. All I need to get started is for someone to throw together a bit of code that has looping and cell-enter, retrieval and display.

And to be shown how to insert it somewhere in a sheet, and how to execute it.

This isn’t for school or work. (Although it may help in future career path.)

Would it help if I lied and said that this question was really from a very pretty personable single woman? :slight_smile:

Well, the first thing to get your noggin around is that in current versions of Excel, the macro code does not exist in the main spreadsheet - it’s held separately. This means that you no longer ‘designate cells’ as the macro, and nor do you designate a cell as a stop cell, or any such arcana. It’s now, as others have said, basically Visual Basic programming (You can still record macros, though I never have).

Excel does have FOR loops, DO … WHILE, IF … THEN … ELSE, etc. etc.

Your best bet is to open the Visual Basic window within Excel (ALT + F11) and start trawling the help files.


:o Sorry, my post may have come across as harsh.  I meant to pepper it with emoticons all through, to make it so humorous as to be innocuous.  

But I was using the so-called equipment at a program. Not only is its slowness especially bad with sdmb, but today everytime I tried to insert an emoticon it merely sent the view back to the top of the page. :confused:

Friday the Thirteenths…

True Blue Jack


No longer a matter of a vertical set of cells? Yeah, I was beginning to gather that from the few examples I was able to find online. It seems a major improvement to have the macros independent of the spreadsheet. I’ve found the option of a separate “sheet” for charts preferrable to embedded charts.

(My main problem here is that I never learned Visual Basic. Once I learn the essentials all I will need is the ability to connect it to Excel and then execute.)

But all this raises the question of up-to-dateness at my end. The equipment I usually have access to is pretty antiquated, as I mentioned above. I suspect that the version of Excel is also. But I won’t be able to check until Monday.

I’ll keep your suggestion in mind, and let everybody know if I finally got up to speed.

True Blue Jack