Chapter 16. Developing Excel Utilities with VBA

In This Chapter

A utility, in general, is something that enhances software, adding useful features or making existing features more accessible. This chapter is about Excel utilities:

  • Exploring Excel utilities and utilities in general

  • Why use VBA to develop utilities

  • What you need to know to develop good utilities

  • Step-by-step details for developing a useful Excel utility to manipulate text in cells

  • Where to go for more Excel utilities

As you’ll see, creating utilities for Excel is an excellent way to make a great product even better.

About Excel Utilities

A utility isn’t an end product, such as a quarterly report. Rather, it’s a tool that helps you produce an end product. An Excel utility is (almost always) an add-in that enhances Excel with new features or capabilities.

Excel is a great product, but many users soon develop a wish-list of features that they would like to see added to the software. For example, some users prefer to turn off the dotted-line page break display, and they want a feature that toggles this attribute so that they don’t have to scroll through the Excel Options dialog box looking for the command. Users who work with dates might want a pop-up calendar feature to facilitate entering dates into cells. And some users desire an easier way to export a range of data to a separate file. These are all examples of features that aren’t currently available in Excel. You can, however, add these features by creating a utility.

Utilities ...

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