Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Editing Macros.

Editing Macros

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 13, 2015)

2

Taking a look at the programming code used in a macro (either ones you have recorded or macros created by others) is a great way to help you understand how the macro is put together and how it works. You can do this examination, and make changes to your macros, by editing them. This is done by first choosing the Macro option from the Tools menu. When you do, you will see a submenu from which you should select the Macros option. Excel displays the Macro dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Macro dialog box.

In the list of available macros you should choose the macro you want to edit. When you have selected one, you can click on the Edit button and the VBA Editor is displayed with the selected macro loaded and ready to edit.

Once your macro is displayed, you can make changes to it as desired. You use many of the same editing functions you use when making changes to a regular worksheet. Unless you fully understand the consequences of your changes, it is typically best to stick to recording simple macros. If you feel adventurous, however, there is nothing wrong with making changes to your macros to see what they will do. If you do so, it is a good idea to keep these tips in mind:

  • As you are developing and testing macros, always use copies of your data. Keep the original data stored in a safe place.
  • Keep a good macro language function reference or command reference close by.
  • Test often as you make changes. Don't make all your changes at once and then expect to perform one test and have everything work. Unfortunately, life is not that simple.

If you keep these tips in mind, there is very little chance that you will hurt anything. In fact, your chances of learning more about Excel and macro programming are much greater than the risk of damaging any data. Give it a try!

When you have finished making changes to your macro, you should close the VBA Editor. Closing the VBA Editor is done in the same manner as when you close any other Windows program—simply double-click on the Close icon in the upper-right corner of the window.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2331) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Editing Macros.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Quickly Displaying the Page Setup Dialog Box

The Page Setup dialog box is indispensable in setting up the overall look of your document. You can display the dialog box ...

Discover More

Pulling Cell Names into VBA

Excel allows you to define names that can refer to either ranges of cells or to constant information, such as formulas. If ...

Discover More

Removing Formatting

Need to quickly remove formatting from a selection of text in your document? The Clear Formatting tool makes the task quick ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Determining the Hour of the Day

Need to know the current hour of the day? You can derive the information in your macros by using the Hour function, as ...

Discover More

DOS From Macros

Need to run a DOS command from within one of your macros? The answer is the Shell command, described in this tip.

Discover More

Determining How Many Windows are Open

Does your macro need to know how many windows Excel has open? You can determine it by using the Count property of the Windows ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three minus 1?

2015-06-13 18:56:01

Ray Austin

"Keep a good macro language function reference or command reference close by"

Can you recommend a couple please ?

Thank you
Ray


2015-06-13 07:19:01

Fred Burg

Why do you need to DOUBLE-click the close icon (the "X") in the upper right corner to close a window? A single click is sufficient.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing