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Excel® 2010 Power Programming with VBA by John Walkenbach

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Chapter 16: Developing Excel Utilities with VBA

IN THIS CHAPTER

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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