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Chapter 32. Getting Started with VBA > What Is Visual Basic for Applications?

What Is Visual Basic for Applications?

Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is now the main programming tool for automating Microsoft Office and related applications. VBA is derived from one of the most widely used programming languages for personal computers: BASIC (short for Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code). Earlier versions of many Microsoft applications used variations of BASIC as their macro language, but until recently, many of these languages had significant differences from one another. Microsoft has been working for years to unify the macro language offerings available for Office applications.

One of the most popular Windows application development languages in the world is Visual Basic. Visual Basic enables you to create standalone, executable Windows applications. Many Visual Basic developers wanted Microsoft to create an automation language for its Office suite that was based on Visual Basic so that they could use a tool that they were already familiar with. The result is VBA and it is the automation language used with Word, Excel, Outlook, Access, and PowerPoint. Besides the Office applications, other Microsoft programs, such as Project, use VBA. Microsoft has even licensed VBA for use in third-party applications, such as Visio, the popular diagramming program. This language is considered a subset of Visual Basic. Although VBA is a subset, it still offers awesome programming power and a feature-rich development environment.


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