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.
Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 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
Macros allow you to perform all sorts of file-related operations. One such operation allows you to delete a directory. ...Discover More
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 ...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.