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Why is the VBA editor in Excel 2012 the same as Excel 97 or Visual Basic 6? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am using Office 2012 now. It has changed a lot of things, drastically.  Except, the VBA editor. It looks almost exactly the same as that of 15 years ago. Remember VB 6? It just looks like VB 6.

    I searched the internet and found a screenshot of VBA 97 and VBA 2010. http://excelplus.net/images/news/visual_basic_editor_vba_office_97_2010.png

    Well, there are some improvements like "mouse-wheel scrolling", thank god, but it does not support basic things like line numbers on the left, coloured string literals, code folding, navigating backward/forward (though, Shift+F2/Shift+F2+Contrl works somewhat similar, but pressing them is pain in the lower back), refactoring , etc which even the free edition of Visual Studio supports.

    How come a company as big as Microsoft leave something that are widely used in a commercial program unchanged for 15 years? Has Microsoft given up VBA? Any ways, I really wish I could use another editor for Excel VBA project. There are no possibility to use another editor than the built-in editor? 

    Sorry, for the furious sentences above... coding on the VBA editor for a couple of weeks made me angry....


    • Edited by Cheap Programmer Monday, November 12, 2012 6:57 AM I need coloured strings
    Monday, November 12, 2012 6:55 AM

All replies

  • There is no Office 2012 but indeed the VBE remains unchanged since at least Office 97, and was adapted from earlier versions of VB6. VBA is also unchanged since 2000 except for object model stuff that is introduced (or deprecated) in each new Office version, and VBA-7 in 2010 to cater for 64bit Office.

    You ask if MS has given up on VBA, for a while there were doubts expressed in the media about long term support for VBA, if so that might explain the lack of development for the VBE. However in the last few years there haven't appeared any indications of MS giving up on VBA, quite the contrary.

    Some of the missing features you mentioned, line numbering and code wrapping, are included in the well respected MZ-tools addin www.mztools.com, together with a host of other tools. Not sure what you mean about line numbering not on the left, line numbers can only be on the left, though as you say string literals are not coloured. But see Tools/Options/Editor.

    For any readers wanting mouse scroll in 2003 this works fine http://www.gasanov.net/VBScroll.asp.
    My most used VBE addin is Stephen Bullen's Smart Indenter http://www.oaltd.co.uk/Indenter/Default.htm

    My own view about the VBE is "if it ain't broke don't fix it", it might look out dated but it still works well. As for keyboard shortcuts there are several, once you know them I suspect less likely to cause backache than using the mouse.

    Peter Thornton

    Monday, November 12, 2012 9:36 AM
    Moderator