Microsoft Excel is just not a spreadsheet application but if you have gone through it thoroughly, then you will be amazed to know what all can be achieved in Microsoft Excel. To be true what is visible in Excel is just a part of it and it carries a lot more behind the windows. It is a fully programmable and customizable database application and one can keep the data in Excel for backend needs and develop applications and interfaces which will work as frontend. All you need is to know how Windows and its applications work and how to use the active controls. Moreover you should know the programming language known as Visual Basic only then you can develop interface using the same in Microsoft Excel.

In this post I will discuss how to start with VBA programming on Microsoft Excel. Even if you know Visual Basic still you would need extra study material to know how Excel cells are referred and called in Visual Basic scripting.


By default, the developer tab is hidden in Microsoft Excel so you need to get it available for you. To do the same click on the Excel options button and then in the Excel options window check the Show Developer Tab check box.


Open a new Excel file and then press Alt+F11. This action will open a new Window which will look much like Visual Basic editor. This is the place where on the left side you will get list of all available sheets in the Excel Sheet. You can select any sheet and then in the console which opens on the right can be used for designing or writing macros.


If you wish to have extra Windows in your Excel file then click on Insert and insert a new Form. Designing and controls of this Form will exactly be the same as you do in Visual Basic.


Add controls and ActiveX items in your form. These additions and selection of controls will depend upon what you want to achieve and what your project is all about.


Once you are done with the design and coding make sure that you save the file with an extension of XLSM which defines the file to be opened and used as programmable file.

Steps given above are simple steps to start the Visual basic project in an Excel file. You should always draw the flow of what you want to program as a flow chart on paper considering all the input, output and logical and arithmetic calculations. Drawing a flow chart on paper is the prerequisite for any programming to be done as it nearly makes the coding bug free. Also please note that once you use the Excel cells in your coding then do not delete rows and columns in your spreadsheet because coding uses a different approach for referring to Excel cells and the code doesn’t get auto updated on deleting or inserting rows and columns in Excel spreadsheet.