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CP022: What’s a Macro? Introduction to Excel VBA, Macros & Automation



In the 22nd session of Chandoo.org podcast, lets do some macros.

CP022: What's a macro? Introduction to Excel VBA, Macros & Automation

What is in this session?

VBA (or macros, automation) is a mystery for many of us. So in this podcast, lets unravel the mystery behind it and get you started with the awesome world of automation.

In this podcast, you will learn,

  • What is a macro?
  • What is VBA then?
  • Reasons for using VBA Macros
    • Automation
    • Extending Excel’s capabilities
    • Efficiency
    • Applications
  • How to get started with VBA Macros?
  • Using Recorder
  • Example Macro
  • Going beyond recorder – Learning VBA

Listen to this session


Links & Resources for learning VBA Macros:

Getting started with VBA Macros – FREE 5 part crash course

  1. What is VBA & Writing your First VBA Macro in Excel
  2. Understanding Variables, Conditions & Loops in VBA
  3. Using Cells, Ranges & Other Objects in your Macros
  4. Putting it all together – Your First VBA Application using Excel
  5. My Top 10 Tips for Mastering VBA & Excel Macros

More tips, information, tutorials & resources on VBA.

VBA Example Macros

VBA Video tutorials

Books for learning VBA

Recommended training program

Learn from basics to advanced VBA in a self-paced, on-demand online training from me. With more than 24 hrs of video training material, 50 lessons, 50 example macro workbooks, home work exercises, 2 class projects and an online community, you can quickly learn ways to automate your work & save time.

Please click here to know more about this program.


Transcript of this session:

Download this podcast transcript [PDF].

Are you new to VBA? What is stopping you from learning it?

When I first heard about VBA, I was not very interested (as explained in the podcast). But later when I got a job, I realized the potential of VBA and quickly embraced it.

What about you? Are you a VBA newbie? What is stopping you from learning it? Please share your fears and difficulties in the comments so that I can help you.


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3 Responses to “CP022: What’s a Macro? Introduction to Excel VBA, Macros & Automation”

  1. Patrick says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    My reason for not learning VBA is the fear of Microsoft changing things around. I've seen several cool spreadsheets go completely useless, because of VBA that stopped working. As it was explained to me, this usually happened when Office was upgraded in such companies.

    At the time I was fresh out of college and knew more about marketing and sales than I did about Excel. But the lack of good solutions made me decide to specialise in Office. I've experimented a LOT and learned some tricks from people like you and Charley Kyd. Now I can do things with Excel I never thought were possible. When I do need macros for time saving I simply program them in my Logitech G510. Thank god for gamers, cause that keyboard wouldn't exist without them. 🙂

    I must admit sometimes it's a problem to avoid VBA. Less interactive elements are available, charts can't always do exactly what I would like best, I have no idea how to force a spreadsheet to open full screen otherwise and stuff like that. But I do create awesome, dynamic tools this way and they work fine in all 2007+ versions of Excel. I found creative answers to pretty much all problems I came along.

    One problem that really bothers me though is the use of the camera tool. I tried INDEX, OFFSET and INDIRECT, but I always get the same problem. It works fine, untill I restart my computer. When I open such a spreadsheet, the camera won't update untill I go to the source sheet and move my cursor over the source cell. After that the camera will keep working perfectly, even when I restart Excel. Do you happen to have any idea what's causing this problem?

    For the record: I use named formulas in the camera link and calculation is set to automatic. Since there's always an interactive element like a radio button (or whatever) involved, a value is changed on the spreadsheet. So I really don't understand why it doesn't update right away. This frustrates me, because the camera has so much potential with layered, transparant images and combining multiple charts. But I don't want to force my customers to use a work-around (moving mouse over camera source) to get it started.

    Sorry for the long off-topic camera text, but I really hope you can help me out. It would mean the world to me.

    Anyway, keep up the good work and best of luck to you!

  2. Anil Kumar says:


    actually I tried sometime to work with VBA but sometime I succeeded and sometimes i couldn't give the right coding. I the fear to learn it is the time that I will need to spend on it. And another fear is that I will have to learn a lot in VB. Actually I have all my studies in computers and I know that Its time taking to learn a computer language. That's what makes me not to get involved in VBA's. And one more thing that I am sure about is If I start learning one interesting thing about VBA's through your mails, I will learn it one day :-). Thanks for this awesome platform to learn about excel.

    Thanks & Regards

  3. Atul Kumar says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    i want to join your face to face class for excellency in excel & BI Analysis programme.

    Can you please share me the next Classes in Delhi NCR.

    Atul Kumar

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