The VBE is a useful, concise editor with just enough features to aid both the beginning and advanced developer. Until your projects become more complex and you start using forms, the Project Explorer and the Properties window will not reveal their true usefulness, although you did see that by using the Properties window, you can make worksheets very hidden so that they don't appear when a user selects Format ^ Sheet ^ Unhide.

Help abounds throughout the VBE and the help files are very thorough. Often, the only thing you need to do is select the word or item you are wondering about and press F1. That said, thanks to features such as Auto List Members and Auto Quick Info, developers don't need to refer to the help files nearly as much as they used to.

Because much of the work in developing is keyboard oriented, it helps to learn the shortcut keys that allow you to navigate through your code and perform various editing activities such as cut/copy/paste.

I'm sure you are anxious to start learning some useful Excel development skills. However, you have two more pieces of the foundation to complete before you get into the real Excel-oriented features. In Chapter 3, you'll learn the basics of the VBA language. This will allow you to give the VBE a test drive as you experiment with some of the example code listings. After that, you'll learn about the debugging features of the VBE and how you can put them to good use to troubleshoot your applications. After all, while you are learning, you can expect to have a lot of things go wrong. With some debugging skills, you can learn from your mistakes without sustaining too much frustration.

Chapter 3

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