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.

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.

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

Accepting Only Formatting Changes

When you use Track Changes in a document, Word marks everything that changes. (Makes sense, huh?) If an editor makes a lot of ...

Discover More

Deleting Index Entries

When you construct an index you need to insert all sorts of index fields throughout your document. If you want to later ...

Discover More

Exiting a For ... Next Loop Early

If you use For ... Next loops in your macros, make sure you give a way to jump out of the loop early. That way you can limit ...

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)

Hiding Macros

Need to hide some macros in your workbook? There are three ways you can do it, as covered in this discussion.

Discover More

Recovering Macros from Corrupted Workbooks

Workbooks get corrupted from time to time; that's a fact of life in an Excel world. If those corrupted workbooks contain ...

Discover More

Aborting a Macro and Retaining Control

If you need to exit a macro before it is finished running, you can do it using a brute force method, or you can build in a ...

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 7 + 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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
Share