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The VBE Editor

Opening the VBE

The VBA development environment - called Visual Basic Editor (VBE) - is where you will write and verify the code to perform Excel actions. There are a few ways to open the VBE:

  1. By the shortcut Alt+F11
  2. On the Developer tab in the Visual Basic button
  3. On the Developer tab in the View Code button
Accessing VBE

You can also open VBE from the View tab $\rightarrow$ Macros, creating a new macro.

The Structure of VBE

The VBE framework has several internal windows, the main ones being:

  1. Project Explorer
  2. Code Window
  3. Toolbar
  4. Menu Bar
  5. Immediate Window (advanced topic)
  6. Properties Window (advanced topic)
  7. Locals (advanced topic)

Advanced topics are recommended only after acquiring some maturity in the subject. They are made available due to proximity to the theme.

VBE Structure

If any window does not appear, just enable it in the tab View $\rightarrow$ 'Desired Window'.

Initially we will use more the (1.) Project Explorer, (2.) Code Window, (3.) Toolbar and (4.) Menu bar windows.

We will gradually understand the function of each of these windows.

1. The Project Explorer

The Project Explorer or Project - VBAProject is the VBE window that lists hierarchically the loaded projects.

The VBAProject is born along with the creation of an Excel document (file) and every document has only one project.

Project Explorer

In the example above we have two projects, so we can immediately conclude that there are two open files in Excel ( Products.xlsm and Sales.xlsm). Note that VBE separates content into folders for organizing purposes.

Every VBA code resides inside an item in the VBE Project Explorer. The Code Window will show the VBA code that is within the selected item in the Project Explorer.

2. Code Window

The Code Window is where all VBA code will be displayed and developed.

Every Macro will always be written in this window and will reside inside an item in the Project Explorer.

To open a Code Window double click on the desired item in the Project Explorer window.

3. Toolbar


The Toolbar provides some essential options for the project (buttons such as Undo and Save). There are also in this bar buttons to execute the code (such as Run Macro and Reset) and help for creating codes (such as Find and Paste).

It is possible to edit the Toolbar. You may add for example the edit buttons tab, which allow commenting on a block of text (View $\rightarrow$ Toolbars $\rightarrow$ Edit).

4. Menu Bar

The Menu bar lists the features of the VBE.

When you are having trouble finding some functionality in the Toolbar, you may choose to browse the menus in the Menu bar.

Show Advanced Topics

Creating Module

A Module is a place for you to store codes.

In general, macros are written in modules.

Further ahead we will see cases where the code is inserted into other Project Explorer items.

To create a Module (with VBE open):

  1. Right-click any project folder (or any empty area of the Project Explorer)
  2. Select Insert
  3. Select the item Module
Inserting Module

Try to use the modules when writing your macros. is learning website. Examples might be simplified to improve reading and basic understanding. Tutorials, references, and examples are constantly reviewed to avoid errors, but we cannot warrant full correctness of all content. All Rights Reserved.

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