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Excel VBA Programming For Dummies: Excel Book Review

Product: Excel VBA Programming for Dummies

Price: £14.70

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon

Authors: John Walkenbach

Publisher: For Dummies; 4 edition

No of Pages: 406

My Rating: 9.5 out of 10

When I first wanted to learn Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) the first book I bought was Excel VBA Programming for Dummies by John Walkenbach. The reason why I wanted to buy this book was because of the author, John Walkenbach. I have bought Excel books written by him before and found them very well written and that he explained the most complex subjects in a manner that even beginners can understand. Excel VBA for Dummies carries on that tradition.

What is VBA?

VBA is a programming language for Excel that lets you automate Excel tasks by writing VBA code in the Visual Basic Editor. You can automate practically anything in Excel from manual tasks such as inserting or deleting rows to creating pivot tables and charts. Learning VBA is very beneficial as it can save you hours of time from doing mundane manual tasks in a spreadsheet.

What this Book Covers?

Excel VBA Programming for Dummies covers everything you need to know about starting in VBA. Here is the table of contents.

Introduction 1

Part I: Getting Started with Excel VBA Programming 7

Chapter 1: What Is VBA? 9

Chapter 2: Jumping Right In 19

Part II: How VBA Works with Excel 29

Chapter 3: Working in the Visual Basic Editor 31

Chapter 4: Introducing the Excel Object Model 51

Chapter 5: VBA Sub and Function Procedures 65

Chapter 6: Using the Excel Macro Recorder 79

Part III: Programming Concepts 91

Chapter 7: Essential VBA Language Elements 93

Chapter 8: Working with Range Objects 115

Chapter 9: Using VBA and Worksheet Functions 131

Chapter 10: Controlling Program Flow and Making Decisions 145

Chapter 11: Automatic Procedures and Events 165

Chapter 12: Error‐Handling Techniques 187

Chapter 13: Bug Extermination Techniques 201

Chapter 14: VBA Programming Examples 215

Part IV: Communicating with Your Users 237

Chapter 15: Simple Dialog Boxes 239

Chapter 16: UserForm Basics 257

Chapter 17: Using UserForm Controls 275

Chapter 18: UserForm Techniques and Tricks 295

Chapter 19: Accessing Your Macros through the User Interface 321

Part V: Putting It All Together 333

Chapter 20: Creating Worksheet Functions — and Living to Tell about It 335

Chapter 21: Creating Excel Add-Ins 353

Part VI: The Part of Tens 365

Chapter 22: Ten VBA Questions (and Answers) 367

Chapter 23: (Almost) Ten Excel Resources 371

Chapter 24: Ten VBA Do’s and Don’ts 375

About the Author

John Walkenbach is the leading author in Excel. He has created the award winning Power Utility Pak and has written more than 50 books and 300 articles and reviews for publications such as PC World, InfoWorld, and Windows. He has a website called The Spreadsheet Page which contains a list of all the books he has written as well as some great Excel tips. You can download useful workbooks and add-ins as well.

John lives in Tucson Arizona and his hobbies include playing the banjo!

Who is this Book Aimed For?

This book is for anybody who wants to take the next leap and learn VBA, or their boss wants them to learn it. If you are tired of manually doing certain tasks in Excel and want to start automating your worksheets and become more efficient in your work then this book is a great introduction to VBA.

I would not recommend this book for beginners. It is aimed for intermediate and advanced Excel users. You need to know your way around an Excel spreadsheet first otherwise you will not understand this book. I would recommend you learn all the various tools, features, and functions in Excel first. If you want to then take your Excel skills to the next level then Excel VBA Programming for Dummies would be a great book to start learning.

The Positives of the Book

Excel VBA Programming for Dummies is a great book if you want to start learning VBA. The book will explain what VBA is, introduce you to the Visual Basic Editor where you will learn the various features and components such as how to add modules. It will explain the Excel object model and explain how to record macros and then look at the code and edit it. The book will then go into more depth and explain the VBA language elements such as variables, constants, comments and the range objects properties and methods. You will also learn various ways to loop a code using the For-Next loop, Do-While loop and Do-Until loop and introduce you to the IF THEN statement. Writing VBA code can cause errors when the macro is run, especially if you are new to VBA. It is therefore important that you know how to handle these errors in your code. Excel VBA Programming for Dummies explains this in simple terms.

As I mentioned earlier in the review this was the first book I bought when I decided I wanted to learn VBA. I am very glad I did as John Walkenbach explains a difficult subject in simple English. This book is the 4th edition and fully updated for Excel 2016. Excel VBA Programming for Dummies book is a great reference book as I have often come back to it when I can’t remember a line of code. The book covers all the topics you need to know about VBA. The section on how to create userforms I found particularly interesting as you can make your worksheets like a database user interface which was something I really wanted to learn.

What I like about this book is that you don’t need to have prior knowledge of VBA before you start reading it. When I first bought this book I had no knowledge of VBA whatsoever.

Excel VBA Programming for Dummies is also good for people who have a little bit of knowledge of VBA and would like to know how to construct better code or learn how to write better loops.

The Negatives of the Book

This book is catered for people who want to learn VBA. VBA is a difficult subject and this book will only be beneficial if you are determined to learn VBA and spend the time required to learn it.

As already mentioned Excel VBA Programming for Dummies is aimed for people who have intermediate or advanced Excel skills. Maybe this should be pointed out better in the book before people start to read it.


If you are serious about wanting to learn VBA then I would thoroughly recommend Excel VBA Programming for Dummies. The book covers everything you need to know to start your VBA journey. Once you have mastered the topics in this book then I would recommend you learn more advanced features of VBA. I would recommend Excel 2016 Power Programming with VBA for this where you will learn how to create more advanced Excel applications. Please see my review here.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. If you have any questions on this review or if you want to give me your feedback on this book if you have read it then please leave a message in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you.

You can purchase the book by clicking on the link below.

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