How much do you know about using Excel macros for your business?
Excel can be a wonderful business tool. Chances are good that you’re already using it at your company. However, you might not be taking full advantage of this tool. If you aren’t using Excel macros as part of your everyday business operations, you’re missing out.
We’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll give you everything you need to know about how macros can help your company. Keep reading to learn more!
What Are Excel Macros?
In short, an Excel macro is a series of steps. An Excel “step” refers to a way that you can interact with the Excel application. For example, if you select a cell, that’s a step. If you save a document, that’s a step. If you move to a new sheet, that’s a step.
Every little thing you do with an Excel spreadsheet is a step. You’ll probably find that you’re using a number of sets of steps repeatedly in your business tasks. If you assign these steps to a macro, you can just “run” the macro. All the steps will automatically get completed.
Excel can also record your interactions with it and make a macro using the steps you did while it was recording. After you’ve finished recording, you have the option of playing back the macro to do these steps whenever you need to.
In addition to these options, you can also use Excel’s VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) editor. This tool allows you to access your macro recordings (which are stored in the form of code) and modify them as needed.
This is one of the most valuable ways to use Excel macros. With just a little bit of coding knowledge, you can easily automate countless different business operations that use Excel.
Example of Using Macros
Let’s take a look at an example of one case when Excel macros can make a big difference and streamline your operations.
You might be working with an Excel spreadsheet that requires you to read what’s in a cell and fix mistakes. Let’s say the procedure for finding a mistake is to make the text bold, change the colour of the font to red, add a yellow highlight to the cell, and add thicker borders. This will make the errors easy to see for the next person who reviews the sheet.
However, it can be needlessly time-consuming to repeat this same sequence of steps for every error you find. And, since you have to evaluate each cell for errors, you can’t expect Excel to conditionally format the right cells on its own.
This is a great time to use Excel macros. With a macro, you can “record” your sequence of steps that you use to highlight the errors. After you’ve evaluated a cell and found it to contain an error, you can just run the macro and have an automatically formatted cell. This turns a multiple-step process into a single step for you.
In fact, you can even make a more complicated macro that can automatically analyze each cell for you and figure out if the error formatting needs to be applied. With practice, making these complex macros will become easier for you.
This example of how to use a macro is fairly simple. There are many other ways that you can use Excel macros to make your business run better. Let’s take a look at some other ways Excel experts use this great tool.
One of the most common ways businesses use Excel is to create reports that get sent to customers or used internally in the company. Sometimes, you might find yourself preparing these reports quite often, and investing a lot of time into each one. If you can use Excel macros, you can make the process faster and save your time for other important tasks.
In fact, you can totally automate the process of preparing a report, so the deliverable item is ready to go with just the click of a mouse. This might sound impossible since business reports often involve a lot of information. However, the majority of reports can actually be automated once you’ve mastered macros.
After all, most reports simply collect and aggregate data from a number of sources. There’s no reason you can’t automate these steps using macros.
All you need to do is define a macro and then start recording all the steps that happen when you prepare a report. After the recording is done, go back and look over the code. If any changes need to be made, or any steps aren’t necessary, you can edit the macro accordingly.
You might need to spend some time editing your macro at first. However, this is well worth it when you consider how much time you’ll be saving in the end.
Design In-House Apps
You can also use Excel’s VBA editor to design applications that work within a window. You’ll be using Excel to run these in-house apps, but you can design them to perform many of the same things that an ordinary windows application would do.
For example, you might need an in-house app that can identify and record your internal expenses and claims. A coder can use Excel macros to design this app at a low cost. You’ll get a reliable, easy-to-use app that does what you need without any bells and whistles.
Ready to Start Using Excel Macros?
Your business can do so much with Excel macros. You might start by automating simple processes, but as you get used to using this tool, you’ll start to see more ways it can help your company grow.
Making ordinary procedures faster and easier by automating them frees up your staff. Let them focus on the things that need human attention, while Excel macros take care of the more tedious tasks.
Want to learn more about what Excel can do for your business? Then don’t miss this post.