Chapter 16: Developing Excel Utilities with VBA


Exploring Excel utilities and utilities in general

Developing utilities with VBA

Creating good utilities

Manipulating text in cells

Finding additional Excel utilities

About Excel Utilities

A utility, in general, is something that enhances software, adding useful features or making existing features more accessible. 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'd like to see added to the software. For example, users who work with dates may 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 or to save a chart as a graphics 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 don't need to be complicated. Some of the most useful ones are actually very simple. For example, have you noticed that Excel 2010 doesn't have a Ribbon command to toggle the page break display in a worksheet? If you don't like to see those dotted lines in your worksheet, it requires a trip to the Excel Options dialog box to turn them off. Even worse, you can't add that command to ...

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