If you are like me, you are cursing Microsoft. We've wasted a good deal of time over a couple of days and neither macro will work. What makes it worse is that this sort of procedure would have been handled perfectly by the old Lotus 1-2-3 macro recorder introduced in 1983. Mitch Kapor solved this problem 21 years ago and Microsoft still can't get it right.

Did you know that up through Excel 97, Microsoft Excel secretly would run Lotus command line macros? I didn't either, but I found out right after Microsoft quit supporting Excel 97. A number of companies then upgraded to Excel XP, which no longer supported the Lotus 1-2-3 macros. Many of these companies hired us to convert the old Lotus 1-2-3 macros to Excel VBA. It is interesting that from Excel 5, Excel 95, and Excel 97, Microsoft offered an interpreter that could handle the Lotus macros that solved this problem correctly, yet their own macro recorder couldn't (and still can't!) solve the problem.

Next Steps: Learning VBA Is the Solution

The only solution is to dive in and figure out Visual Basic. The recorded macro gets us close. With some added human intelligence, you can produce awesome macros to speed up your daily work. In Chapter 2, "This Sounds Like BASIC, So Why Doesn't It Look Familiar?" we'll take a look at these two macros we recorded in an effort to make some sense out of them. After you know how to decode the VBA code, it will feel natural to either correct the recorded code or simply write code from scratch. Hang on through one more chapter and you will be writing useful code that works consistently.

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