Chapter 14: 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 very simple. For example, have you noticed that Excel 2013 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, a trip to the Excel Options dialog box to turn them off is required. Even worse, you can't add that command to the Ribbon ...