Discovering Macros – Part 1

The magic of macros in Excel is one that continues to inspire me daily. Watching a macro take my data and rearrange it in a matter of seconds when it used to take me hours never ceases to amaze me. If you’re not using macros to tackle all of your boring, time consuming and repetitive tasks then you’re missing out on a great resource to manage your time.

It wasn’t too long ago that I found myself staring blankly at my computer screen with the headphones on full blast trying to forget about the boring repetitive task ahead of me. I clicked away in MS Excel moving rows upon rows of data manually to get it formatted correctly so I could merge data from three different sources in a way that was easy to incorporate into our client report. All this data massaging was a necessary evil that took place every Tuesday. It took hours and made the day drag on. At the time I had asked co-workers for ideas to simplify the process but few had ever handled such an endeavor and were unable to help me simplify the problem.

So, I took to the internet to try and find a solution to my problem. A couple of Google searches later and presto! I had discovered Macros for the first time. The thought of coding anything almost prevented me from even trying it out. I actually put it off for a while thinking it would be more time consuming to learn how to create a Macro than it would take to just do the task as usual. Then we heard from the client that they wanted us to do this on a daily basis. After that initial shock I realized I couldn’t spend my days doing this report so I needed to become efficient. I took a second look at macros starting with some basic information from Microsoft Office’s Excel page on macros. It was a pretty basic start but I needed more information and fast.

VBA and Macros

I requested a book I still use as a reference to this day, VBA and Macros for Microsoft Office Excel 2007 by Bill Jelen and Tracy Syrstad. While I waited for it to arrive, I decided to do some more digging around the internet and found out Bill Jelen is known as Mr. Excel. His website and more specifically, his Excel Forum is a great place to find existing macros and formulas or get help creating your own. There are so many problems that have already been solved by other members of the excel community and you can benefit from their wisdom. So if you’re looking for a place to start, I encourage you to stop by his website, check out his book and take a step towards learning more about macros. Make your reporting life easier and faster. Macros are here to help you today.