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Automating Repetitive Tasks with Macros

By now, even if you haven't started putting them to good use in your Excel spreadsheets, you've undoubtedly heard of macros, those wonderful containers for recording almost any sequence of Excel commands and then playing them back in a flash at the touch of a key. By using Excel's macro feature to record tasks that you perform routinely, not only can you speed up the procedure considerably (because Excel can play back your keystrokes and mouse actions a heck of lot faster than you can perform them manually), but you're also assured that each step in the task is carried out the same way every time you perform the task.

Excel's macro feature records all the commands and keystrokes that you make in a language called Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), which is a special version of the BASIC programming language developed by the good folks at Microsoft for use with all the Office application programs. After recording basic macros, how you can even play programmer by using Excel's Visual Basic Editor to display and make changes to the macro's basic VBA code.