Brief Summary of Macros

A macro is a feature found in Microsoft excel. A macro is a sequence of actions and functions that are stored within Microsoft Visual Basic Module; this includes any motion, from simple mouse movements to a built in excel functions. Depending on the purpose, it is wise to use macros or avoid them entirely.

Macros have several useful qualities. There is a range of complexity corresponding to macros. This is good as it provides broad spectrum of situations in which it is appropriate to utilize macros ( As I practice more with macros, I will update this blog with more specific examples). The major benefit corresponding to macros is the time saved by utilizing them, especially when dealing with simple macros. These simple macros are developed with simple to use tools that are built in excel ( link to simple tutorial ). You can also choose to save these macros for later use for other spreadsheets. This ability allows you to create your own personal army of functions to utilize!! Overall, you should use macros if you need to repeat a specific action many times, thus saving you ample time.

As time saving macros can be, there are some limitations and problems corresponding to macros that warrant avoiding them. An innate problem found in macros is the possible presence of bugs, which would require a strong base of excel programming knowledge to debug (depending on the complexity of course), therefore, the presence of debugging takes away from the user friendly design. Another large issue with macros(arguably the largest) is the possible lack of compatibility. The limitations of compatibility not only encompasses problems between different versions of excel, but also excel to webpage conversions (if you can’t present your work, then using the macro is a moot point). In addition, sometimes the simple inclusion of macros(even if they are later removed) can cause transfer problems. Other issues involve management of multiple macros, and their narrow scope. Overall, it is not wise to use macros if your goal involves some type of file transfer or if you need to do excessive coding(as there are easier and effective alternatives).

In conclusion, macros can be a very effective and simple tool to use, but to only be used in appropriate situations where the user can bypass problems ahead of time.