July 22, 2002
Getting More Out of Microsoft's Formidable Spreadsheet Program: O'Reilly Release Second Edition of "Writing Excel Macros with VBA"
Sebastopol, CA--Microsoft Excel is a surprisingly flexible application.
But despite its powerful feature set, for most people the power of
Excel goes largely untapped. "Much of the power of Excel is 'under the
hood.' There is a great deal that Excel either does not allow you to do
or does not allow you to do easily through its user interface,"
comments Steven Roman, who authored the new edition of Writing Excel
Macros with VBA (O'Reilly, US $34.95). With the recent release of
Excel 10, also known as "Excel XP," Roman updated this popular book,
which enables users to custom program Excel using Visual Basic for
"Writing Excel Macros with VBA" is primarily for Excel users who are
not programmers but would like to be--those people who "have begun to
appreciate the power of Excel and want to take advantage of its more
advanced features or just accomplish tasks more easily," Roman says.
The book offers a solid introduction to VBA, Microsoft's easy-to-learn
programming environment that lets users choose and modify pre-selected
sections of code with a graphical user interface, and introduces the
Excel object model, the means by which Excel can be controlled
programmatically. Programmers not familiar with this object model will
find the book to be a useful primer.
Roman, a Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the California State
University, Fullerton, with more than 30 books to his credit, offers a
concise, straightforward tutorial--peppered by interesting and useful
examples to solve common problems--that enables readers to "ferret out
the facts" without much handholding. The book moves at a relatively
rapid pace from general introduction to programming, beginning with
information on the Visual Basic Editor and the Excel VBA programming
environment, which features a complete, state-of-the-art integrated
development environment for writing, running, testing, and debugging
"Given the enormity of the subject, not everything is covered, nor
should it be," Roman says. "The goal here is to acquaint readers with
the main points of Excel programming, enough so that they can continue
their education on their own."
Once readers have finished the book, Roman insists, they will know
enough about Excel VBA to begin creating effective working programs.
With "Writing Excel Macros with VBA," power users can take a close look
at the object model to determine which elements of Excel--workbooks,
worksheets, charts and cells among them--are accessible through code,
and how they can be controlled programmatically. The object model for
Excel XP has 37 new objects, or nearly 200 altogether, but Excel power
users need to be familiar with only a handful of them to write
effective macros. Roman covers these essential objects and includes a
discussion of many more objects as well. The new edition also includes
a chapter on "Smart Tags," a notable feature Microsoft introduced with
"Writing Excel Macros with VBA" is for advanced Excel users who want to
"get more power out of this formidable application" and achieve maximum
control and flexibility, Roman says.
Writing Excel Macros with VBA, 2nd Edition
By Steven Roman
ISBN 0-596-00359-5, 560 pages, $34.95 (US) $54.95 (CAN)
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