My book was published just over four years ago and part of the writing process was creating an Index. To make the task easier I wrote a macro to assist me. Adding an Index to a large document can improve its usefulness. I am sharing the file I used in this blog post.
In a recent webinar I was asked about the “Too many different cell formats” error. This tends to be an error in Excel 2010 and earlier versions. In many cases this error is caused by having too many custom Styles.
It is common knowledge (or it should be) that running a macro clears the undo list. In general you can’t undo a macro. However some macros also clear the clipboard which can stop you copying and pasting. I have found a workaround for the clipboard problem.
Thank You Matthew Harris
Recently I learned about the passing of Chip Pearson an Excel legend.
He was so generous with his content and I had thanked him for his contributions years back, but it got me thinking about thanking others who had helped me along the way.
My third thank you goes out to Matthew Harris. Here is a link to his website
Back in the 90’s I taught myself VBA using his book – Teach Yourself Visual Basic For Applications in 21 Days. It has pride of place on my bookshelf.
The book really made a difference to the way I used Excel and opened my eyes to so many possibilities.I found I really enjoyed programming when working in VBA and Excel.
I have learned a lot since, but his book gave me a great grounding in VBA.
Thank you so much Matthew for your book, it has made a huge difference in my life.
Name Box and Macros
I have found out yet another feature of the Name Box.
The Name Box is on the left of the Formula Bar and above the column letters – see image below.
During a recent macro webinar I tried to create a new range name called Test using the Name Box.
But I also has already created a macro called Test as part of the training.
As soon as I pressed Enter after typing Test into the Name Box to create the Test range name, I was magically transported to the VBA window to the Test macro – Wow!
This means you can’t create a range name in the Name Box that is the same as a macro name.
You have to use the Define name icon on the Formulas tab to do that.
Let’s say you are creating a new table in a new sheet using a macro and you need to create the headings in row 1. There is a reasonably easy way to do it.
It is easy to create a recorded macro. It is not so easy to create a flexible and re-usable recorded macro. Click the materials Button below to download the pdf manual and example file.
Learn the techniques that can allow you to record effective macros that can handle different ranges and changes to sheet names.
Macros can speed up your work and reduce the time taken for tedious tasks, as well as adding functionality to Excel.
This is the first in a series of webinars dedicated to macros. Future paid sessions this month will expand on the techniques taught in this session.
VBA If statement tip
When creating long VBA code it is common that the start of an If statement and the matching End If statement may not be visible on the same screen.
When scrolling around trying to understand your code it can be useful to include the If statement itself as a comment following on the same line as the End If command – see examples below.
If x=0 Then 'lots of code If y =1 Then 'lots of code End If 'If y =1 then End If 'If x=0 Then
The apostrophe is used to specify the start of a comment – you can have a comment following a line of code.
This structure can assist when trying to identify which End If statement relates to which If statement.
Excel will automatically decrease the print zoom % to fit to one page, but it won’t increase the zoom % to fit to one page. E.g. if you want to print on A3 instead of A4. I had a request to do this, so I wrote a macro to do it.
When clearing page breaks in Excel VBA you need to be careful. There is one command that will clear page breaks but it will also affect other print settings.
In a Linkedin Excel Group recently there was a discussion about whether or not you should use the Dim statement to declare your variables. The argument was that you don’t have to and someone had managed to successfully create some code without declaring variables.
Unfortunately lots of people use the Merge & Center format in their spreadsheets. When working with other people’s files that contain Merged cells I will often remove the Merged cells format and apply Center Across Selection which is the preferred format to use. The macro below will convert Merged cells to Center Across Selection.
Make Excel VBA Pause
Sometimes when running a macro you need to make sure Excel has had time to do something before progressing.
This is typically in large models were it can take time (a few seconds) to do a specific task eg removing a filter or updating an external data source.
You can pause a macro to allow Excel to do something by using the Wait command.
Application.Wait (Now + TimeValue("0:00:02"))
The above code will pause the macro for 2 seconds.
I was working on a project for a client and receiving multiple files. Some of the sheets had hidden rows or columns. I realised there is no easy way to find out if a sheet has hidden rows or columns, so I wrote a macro.
VBA to Clear a Filter
Using Excel’s built-in filtering can speed up your VBA code.
It is important if you are applying filters that you clear any existing filters before you apply a new filter. Otherwise the existing filters will usually affect a new filter you apply.
The line of code below will remove filters on Sheet1 (Sheet1 is the sheet code name that you see on the left side of the VBA screen – it may not be the sheet tab name).
If Sheet1.FilterMode Then Sheet1.ShowAllData
The .FilterMode property is True if a filter is in place on the sheet and False if not.
The .ShowAllData method will return an error if no filter is in place – hence the use of the If statement.
When you copy a sheet that contains range names you usually end up making a duplicate of those names at the Worksheet level. I have written a macro that removes all duplicated sheet-based range names in a file.
I have previously posted about using CutePDF to create pdfs from Excel sheets. There is another way, but it takes a few clicks and it only works in Excel 2010 and later versions. (It may work in Excel 2007 but I have taken that version off my PC so I can’t test it.)
I was watching a video a while back and some Excel experts were lamenting the lack of a documentation standard in Excel. They mentioned that the cell comments system could be used for documentation, but there was no way to centralise all the comments. Well, I have written a macro to do just that.
In Excel you can us Save As to save a file as a pdf, but it isn’t quite as effective in Excel as it is for MS Word. Often you only want to save a single sheet or a few sheets to pdf. Try this.