Understanding Macros

Macros are programs that store a series of commands. When you create a macro, you simply combine a sequence of keystrokes into a single command that you can later "play back." Because macros can reduce the number of steps required to complete tasks, using macros can significantly decrease the time you spend creating, formatting, modifying, and printing your worksheets.

You can create macros by using Microsoft Excel's built-in recording tool, or you can write them from scratch by using the Visual Basic Editor. Microsoft Excel 2002 macros are created with the powerful programming language Visual Basic for Applications, commonly known as VBA.

Tip 1-1: The Common Language

Excel 5 was the first application on the market to feature Visual Basic for Applications. Since then, VBA has made its way into all Microsoft Office applications. This means that what you learn about VBA in this book can be used later in creating macros automating other Microsoft Office products such as Word, PowerPoint, Outlook or Access.

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