The Visual Basic Editor

It is now time to see what has been going on behind the scenes. If you want to understand macros, be able to modify your macros, and tap into the full power of VBA, you need to know how to use the Visual Basic Editor (VBE). The VBE runs in its own window, separate from the Excel window. You can activate it in many ways.

First, you can activate it by clicking the Visual Basic button on the Developer tab of the Ribbon. You can also activate it by holding down the Alt key and pressing the F11 key. Alt+F11 acts as a toggle, taking you between the Excel window and the VBE window. If you want to edit a specific macro, you can use the Macros button on the Developer tab of the Ribbon or the Play Macro button on the left of the status bar to open the Macro dialog box, select the macro, and click the Edit button. The VBE window will look something like Figure 1-5.

Figure 1-5

It is quite possible that you will see nothing but the menu bar when you switch to the VBE window. If you can't see the toolbars, use View O Toolbars and click the Standard toolbar. Use View O Project Explorer and View O Properties Window to show the windows on the left. If you can't see the code module on the right, double-click the icon for Module1 in the Project Explorer window.

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