A simple macro language appeared in version 3 of VisiCalc. When Lotus 1-2-3 introduced the keystroke macro recorder, accountants everywhere began developing arcane little macros to automate the daily task of importing and formatting sales data in their spreadsheets. When Excel 5 shipped with a new macro language called VBA in 1993, the world changed. Using VBA, it became possible for every one of the 400 million users of Microsoft Office to develop great looking and powerful applications.
The message board at MrExcel.com hosts over 30,000 questions per year and over a third of these questions are posed by people who have questions about VBA in Excel. Clearly – there are very many people using VBA around the world. However – the typical VBA coder is someone is not necessarily a programmer. You will have someone who is very good at a certain Office application – perhaps I would go so far as to call him or her a guru with a particular application. Soon, our coder has mastered every aspect of the application and starts to explore the macro recorder and then get in to writing VBA macros to automate the use of that application.
However – it is rare to find someone who is a guru in both Excel and PowerPoint. Either you work somewhere where you process lots of data or somewhere where you design a lot of presentations and your expertise in one app or another allows you to climb the learning curve for that VBA app.
At MrExcel Consulting, I prefer to write applications for Excel, but occasionally a client needs Excel to interface with PowerPoint or Word and things generally come to a halt. We know Excel VBA inside and out. We know the gotchas and the peculiarities that don't quite work. But, when we need to tread in the PowerPoint VBA object model, we are rookies.
The idea for this book was to gather together VBA experts from each of the Microsoft Office applications and to have them all design really cool applications for their individual application. The goal is for an expert in Excel VBA to be able to pick up the book and learn from example how things are done in PowerPoint or Word or Access or Outlook. There are many books on the bookstore shelves that address VBA for one particular Office app or another – my goal with this book is that you can comfortably write useful macros in all of your Office apps.