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On line help in VBA 2013 RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Good morning,

    I recently installed Office2013 on a new PC with Windows 8.
    Surprise: in the VBA environment, when I click F1 or? I no longer see the classic on-line help of the older version Excel, but I am directed to the MSDN library, where finding information is virtually impossible, distracting and frustrating.

    In these conditions it is simply impossible to work, and it is not conceivable to continue to invest more on this product for application development in the future.

    The questions we ask are:
    - VBA will be officially maintained in the next 5-10 years?
    - VBA 2013 has maintained its well organized online help, as in previous versions? What should I do to activate it?.

    Thank you in advance for any suggestions useful to solve these problems.

    Friday, April 19, 2013 7:28 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Thank you for posting in the MSDN Forum.

    I'll consult my colleague on your issue. You'll be informed if there's any update.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding.

    Best regards,


    Quist Zhang [MSFT]
    MSDN Community Support | Feedback to us
    Develop and promote your apps in Windows Store
    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and unmark them if they provide no help.

    Monday, April 22, 2013 12:23 PM
    Moderator
  • Regarding the first question about it being officially maintained, it's not possible to say what will happen 10 years from now.  You can look at the following blog posts from 4-5 years ago that addressed this type of question.  As you can see in Office 2013, VBA is still included.  That doesn't mean it will still be the case 5-10 years from now, but hopefully that provides some context to help you decide how you want to plan your application development future. 

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/johnrdurant/archive/2009/09/07/why-vba-still-makes-sense.aspx

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/vsto/archive/2008/01/16/the-reports-of-vba-s-demise-have-been-greatly-exaggerated.aspx

    As for the help being maintained and organized.  I'm not quite sure which version of Excel you are referring to since the behavior will be different depending on the specific product version.  As for Office 2013, everything has moved to online only help so you shouldn't need to activate anything.  It is a little bit of a different experience, but most of the content and functionality is still there.  For example, if you type out a command like "Application.Name" in the VBE code editor and press F1, it will take you to the online documentation for the "Name" property which is basically what happened in Excel 2003. 

    Is there something specific that you are trying to look up about VBA, that you aren't able to find? 

    Brandon

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013 3:33 PM
  • Hi Brandon

    I know a lot of people who are negatively excited about the loss of dedicated, local Help for VBA in the VBA IDE. You can include me in the list. Unfortunately, this kind of thing is impossible to find out about during beta, so there's no chance for anyone to provide any feedback.

    With no local Help files, Help cannot be accessed while traveling, when the Microsoft site or one's ISP is down, etc. That's one major and significant drawback.

    Another is that, with local Help, we had a "find box" that let us specifically search Help for the application we're using. That's not possible with the new system.

    Add all of that to the fact that the new "light" MSDN Help interface is a major step backwards in usability from the "classic" view and that makes for a very frustrating experience. And not only for VBA developers, I might add. If you don't believe me, look up the thread  MSDN Classic View vs Lightweight


    Cindy Meister, VSTO/Word MVP, my blog

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013 6:26 PM
    Moderator
  • Hey Cindy,

    Unfortunately based on the article below, it looks like the offline version is not going to be available. 

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc178954.aspx

    If you would like to provide feedback about the current implementation of the MSDN help, the only suggestion I can think of would be to use the feedback option on the web site.  When you are in the Visual Basic Editor for the Office application and you press F1 you will be taken to basically the help home page for that version.  You can scroll to the bottom and click on the "Did you find this helpful" section to submit any feedback you might have regarding the help documentation. 

    Brandon

    Tuesday, April 30, 2013 3:00 PM
  • Hi Brandon

    Thank you for the link, however I don't find any information there about Help. Under what topic did you see it?

    If you looked at the link I provided, you'll see I, along with many others, have provided my opinion about MDSN Help, generally.

    <<When you are in the Visual Basic Editor for the Office application and you press F1 you will be taken to basically the help home page for that version. >>

    Not always. Some topics (new objects/properties/methods) are missing on-line...

    <<You can scroll to the bottom and click on the "Did you find this helpful" section to submit any feedback you might have regarding the help documentation.  >>

    Yes, I know about that, but it's not relevant to the delivery system, which is the issue, here.


    Cindy Meister, VSTO/Word MVP, my blog

    Tuesday, April 30, 2013 4:49 PM
    Moderator
  • Hey Cindy,

    The information is under the AWS topic where it talks about the Developer Help Reference being moved to MSDN. 

    Brandon

    Tuesday, April 30, 2013 6:34 PM
  • Thanks, Brandon. I must be losing my eyesight as well as my hearing... <sigh>

    Cindy Meister, VSTO/Word MVP, my blog

    Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:38 PM
    Moderator