The Registry is the heart and soul of the 32-bit Windows operating system. It maintains information about the hardware and software installed on a computer, configuration settings, user settings, and information that the system needs to function. In fact, 32-bit Windows can't operate without it.
The capability to access and edit the information contained in the Registry is essential to all but the most basic software developer, and, if you plan to do any serious programming, understanding the Registry is critical.
As you'll see, VBA supports only four native Registry functions, which allow you to store, retrieve, and delete values from one specific area of the Registry. To do anything more advanced, you need to use the Windows Registry APIs. If you don't feel confident with API programming, you should first peruse Chapter 14, which provides the background you'll need to understand the more advanced topics in this chapter.
Although it's true that you can't damage anything by simply reading the Registry, it's also true that making changes to Registry entries when you don't know what you're doing is like randomly pressing buttons in the control room of your local nuclear power station—press the wrong button and everything will melt into a bubbling fluorescent ooze at your feet.
This chapter is not intended to provide highly detailed information about every key, subkey, and value in the Registry; to do so would require a book far larger ...