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Understanding the VB Editor

Figure 1.7 shows an example of the typical VB Editor screen. You can see three windows: Project Explorer, the Properties window, and the Programming window. Don't worry if your window doesn't look exactly like this because you will see how to display the windows you need in this review of the editor.

Figure 1.7

Figure 1.7 The VB Editor window.

VB Editor Settings

Several settings in the VB Editor enable you to customize this editor. The following subsection covers the setting that will help with your programming.

Customizing VB Editor Options Settings

Under Tools, Options, Editor, you will find several useful settings. All settings except for one are set correctly by default. The remaining setting requires some consideration on your part. This setting is Require Variable Declaration. By default, Excel does not require you to declare variables. I prefer this setting because it can save time when you create a program. My coauthor prefers to change this setting to require variable declaration. This change forces the compiler to stop if it finds a variable that it does not recognize, which reduces misspelled variable names. It is a matter of your personal preference if you turn this setting on or keep it off.

The Project Explorer

The Project Explorer lists any open workbooks and add-ins that are loaded. If you click the + icon next to the VBA Project, you will see that there is a folder with Microsoft Excel objects. There can also be folders for forms, class modules, and standard modules. Each folder includes one or more individual components.

Right-clicking a component and selecting View Code or just double-clicking the components brings up any code in the Programming window. The exception is userforms, where double-clicking displays the userform in Design view.

To display the Project Explorer window, select View, Project Explorer from the menu, and then press Ctrl+R or click the Project Explorer icon on the toolbar.

Figure 1.8 shows the Project Explorer pane. This pane can show Microsoft Excel objects, userforms, modules, and class modules.

Figure 1.8

Figure 1.8 The Project Explorer window displays different types of modules.

To insert a module, right-click your project, select Insert, and then choose the type of module you want. The available modules are as follows:

  • Microsoft Excel objects—By default, a project consists of sheet modules for each sheet in the workbook and a single ThisWorkbook module. Code specific to a sheet such as controls or sheet events is placed on the corresponding sheet. Workbook events are placed in the ThisWorkbook module. You learn more about events in Chapter 9, "Event Programming."
  • Forms—Excel allows you to design your own forms to interact with the user. You learn more about these forms in Chapter 10.
  • Modules—When you record a macro, Excel automatically creates a module in which to place the code. Most of your code will reside in these types of modules.
  • Class modules—Class modules are Excel's way of letting you create your own objects. They also allow pieces of code to be shared among programmers without the programmer needing to understand how it works. You will learn more about class modules in Chapter 22, "Creating Classes, Records, and Collections."

The Properties Window

The Properties window enables you to edit the properties of various components such as sheets, workbooks, modules, and form controls. The Property list varies according to what component is selected. To display this window, select View, Properties Window from the menu, press F4, or click the Project Properties icon on the toolbar.

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