Microsoft Excel is a powerful spreadsheet application, or workbook. An Excel workbook is a computer file that allows a user to enter a series of numbers, along with other data. The purpose of the Excel application is to allow users to collect like data in a specific location for current and/or future use.
There are a number of spreadsheet applications, one being Microsoft Excel. Lotus 123 was one of the dominant spreadsheets back into the 80s, before Excel w was released. Excel came out in 1984-1985. It was actually written for the Apple Macintosh. There are other spreadsheet programs out there, but Excel and Lotus are the ones most widely used.
Most spreadsheets strive for compatibility with Excel or minimally, portability to Excel Virtually every business in the United States, if not the world uses Microsoft Excel. Either for the IBM compatible PCs or for the Apple computers.
Spreadsheets are so commonplace that my daughter learned how to use it in 5th grade. This means that Microsoft Excel will be used for years to come, if not decades, as long as Microsoft continues to makes enhancements to the application, staying ahead of the competition.
Do you use Excel? If so, when were you introduced to it? Do you use the PC version of Excel or the Apple version?
Do you also use Macros (VBA) with Excel?
Macros, made up of VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) are the backbone of Microsoft Excel. It allows users to automate portions of their work. For example if you usually copy and paste data from one sheet to another, numerous times, you can create a macro to do it for you, thus saving you time in the future. You can record the Excel macro or you can type the Excel VBA that makes the macro.
Recording Excel macros is the easiest way to start automating your tasks. You can open the VBA editor, and you can see the code VBA behind the macro. You can change one or more lines of code, thus altering your macro. The more times you do this the more you learn. And before you know it, you are an expert. It just takes time and effort.
There are so many good books centered around the use of Excel VBA that anyone can learn it. Google is also a great source. Just type in Excel VBA Help and you will find endless sources and resources to learn, most of them for free.
You can also hire an Excel VBA expert to help you with your files. While this costs money it does allow you to get results much much faster, often within hours or the same day. If not sure how to find an Excel expert, it is easy, just type Excel experts into Google and numerous pages will show up. Look at the first 1 to 5 Google listings and see if any of those are Excel consulting firms. If so, take a look at their sites. Now please note, you need more than an Excel expert, you need an Excel expert that knows Excel VBA.
If you use the Apple version of Excel you want to note that only a few versions of Excel for the Mac have VBA in them. Excel 2008 for example does not have macros, but Excel 2011 does. So if you want to automate Excel on your iMac or Mac Book Pro, make sure to get the 2011 version. Otherwise you cannot do any automation at all. If you run Parallels on your Mac you can run Windows, and then you can run the Windows version of Microsoft Excel. All except the free version support Excel VBA.
So there you have it, you now know what Microsoft Excel is. If you have questions regarding this article, or if you would just like more information, check out Excel Business Support for Excel VBA Help. A great site with paid as well as free resources on Microsoft Excel.
Edited by Rich Moyer
Rich Moyer is Principal Consultant (retired) of Spaho Consulting