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: Develop Macros in Their Own Workbook.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 16, 2015)
Excel includes VBA as a powerful programming language that you can use to develop all sorts of macros. It is not unusual, as you are developing macros, to go through many iterations and make wholesale changes to your macros. You may want to keep in mind, however, that doing so can cause problems in your worksheets.
As you make changes to macros, adding and removing code, the actual file used to store the macros (the workbook) can get quite fragmented. It seems that internally the macros are stored in blocks and, much like a disk drive, the blocks can become "non-contiguous" over time. (This happens only through editing, not through use of the macros themselves.) Some readers have reported that there are times the fragmentation can get so bad that the macros may fail or the workbook become unusable.
The solution to this potential problem is to do your macro development in a different workbook than the one that will eventually hold the macros. Thus, when the macro is transferred to its final home, it will be transferred as a contiguous block, rather than being fragmented.
If you want to make sure that the macro fragmentation is completely removed from a current workbook, all you need to do is export your VBA modules to text files, create a brand new workbook, and import the modules into it.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2566) 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: Develop Macros in Their Own Workbook.
Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!
Workbooks get corrupted from time to time; that's a fact of life in an Excel world. If those corrupted workbooks contain ...Discover More
Excel allows you to assign shortcut keys to macros. Given two different workbooks each containing different macros, it is ...Discover More
Need to hide some macros in your workbook? There are three ways you can do it, as covered in this discussion.Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.