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How can we improve Excel for Mac?

Bring back a fully functional VBE (Visual Basic Editor for VBA)

Please bring back the full editor capability of VBE to Mac Excel 2016, like we had in Mac Excel 2011. As it is, the "slimmed down" editing experience of VBA is more like a notepad experience than anything - making it basically impossible to
* edit VBA from scratch,
* get syntax highlighting
* see a watch window
* etc.

(Note: this title and description updated by Dan [MS] on 10/19/2015)

855 votes
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Jim Termini shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
completed  ·  AdminExcel Team [MSFT] (Product Owner, responded  · 

Hi All – The Visual Basic Editor was greatly improved in an update several months ago. If you don’t have the latest version of Excel for Mac, please go to Help > Check for Updates and update to the latest version to check it out. Thanks for all your comments and support for this feature.

If you notice issues as you are using the latest VBE, please let us know by clicking the smiley-face feedback button near the top-right of the Excel window.

Steve K [MS Excel]


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  • Russell Stagg commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I find it immensely difficult, nay impossible, to use on a Mac still. Like an old friend who can't remember anything.

  • Philip commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @sczserbo, as I mentioned before, the only MS product I think is actually any good, is Excel, for all otters there are much better and cheaper / free alternatives. I don’t work on Windows unless I really don’t have a choice ...

  • szczerbo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    So maybe second solution which I also use - when I need to maintain some older VBA code, I just switch on Windows with Office license - it's just double boot on Mac, so when I need to work with Excel, Im working on windows but on a Mac hardware. Surprisingly it works very well:)

  • Philip commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @szczerbo, unfortunately that’s not an option for me. I support Excel VBA apps both privately and at work, and I work for a very large multinational tha’s entirely Windows based. In addition, until a version or 2 ago I tried to work with other spreadsheet programs, but when it comes to performing with complex and large quantities of data they simply don’t perform as well and the lack certain features that Excel provides. In terms of ease of use and user interface I really liked Numbers, but with tables running in multiple thousands of records with formulas and links, it just stops there ...

  • Craig Ogden commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I am also a user of a Mac. Even though I hate it. I am a PC guy, but work
    has forced me onto a Mac. I really do need to switch to google sheets. I
    like the look and feel of excel along with other aspects that excel gives
    me that sheets doesn't. Otherwise I would switch. Free is a lot better than
    Office's cost.

  • szczerbo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Philip, Craig, ok, leaving this side thread - since We can't force Microsoft to bring back full functionality of VBA Editor, maybe its time for changes? As a mac user (Yes, I am using a Mac...) I found programming google sheets/docs very attractive and useful - App Script (language for doing it - java script with some extra syntax sugar) is very easy to learn, they support many forms, labels, have full support etc.
    What are You thinking about this?

  • Philip commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Craig, I completely agree. I am on this forum to follow the discussions about the issue at hand, not sure what he/she was doing here ... other than bashing interested users.

  • Craig Ogden commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    THIS IS NOT THE PLACE FOR SUCH an argument. Though this is interesting trivia, it needs to end. These comments will NOT help this discussion.

  • Philip commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @szczerbo, Mac was already in the market 13 years before that donation ... and Windows wouldn't have existed if they hadn't had the inspiration of Excel for Mac 1.0 to work from ... go check your facts ... Excel is about the ONLY product MS ever brought on the market that was significantly better than its competitors ... (that's not a fact but my opinion), and if it weren't for VBA, I would have left Excel for what it is a long time ago ( Numbers has a better general user interface but is just not VBA compatible). But if Microsoft sell expensive licenses of Office to users claiming it's a similar or even same product, they are grossly neglecting a large number of paying customers. That is what this whole thread is about ...

  • szczerbo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Philip, You're bringing history like it still have matter - NO! Otherwise you should thanks to Bill Gates that in 1997 donate Apple 150 million $ to save them from bankruptcy. So if not Microsoft there wouldn't be Mac on this planet...ohhh what a beautiful dream, but only dream, cause Bill Gates did worst mistake ever his life:) Apple soft is for Apple stuff, Microsoft is for Microsoft:) There You Go!:)

  • Philip commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @szczerbo, if you would stop to consider that Excel was the start of the whole Office suite, and Excel was first released as a Mac program and only later ported to Windows (which didn't exist then yet), you would realise that if people would have been consistent with your comment, there would not be ANY Office for Windows. I would argue there would not even have been a Windows to start with, if Steve Jobs hadn't asked Bill Gates to develop Excel for Mac to compete with Lotus 123 on DOS ... THERE YOU GO !!!

  • szczerbo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Sad is Your comment... Try to use MAC sofware on Windows? Doesn-t work? So why You whining about using Microsoft software on Mac...
    If you want use Office, buy windows and do double boot on your overpriced Mac - if you Can waste money on Mac, you probably have enough money to buy Windows 10 home -> there You go!:)

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Let us change the font size in the editor ALWAYS, not just if you have a lowish res screen. Unbelievable that you cannot change the font size in the editor whenever you want. If you have a hi-res screen, which many of us now do, you are forced to a stupidly small maximum font size - it just ignores any attempt to change it in the settings. How can Microsoft make a mess of such basic things? I despair. FWIW - never get a screen more than HD resolution - Microsoft's inability to do basic things right means you will regret it every day you use your computer.

  • Bev commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    All very well and fine, but how do we access our user-defined/VBA built functions from the spreadsheet. Basically, can I call the function outside a VBA sub? Functions require input (usually no issue) and output (the problem. I would like to get output into a spreadsheet). When I go to "Insert Function", I don't see any option for a UDF.

  • Don S commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Wait...What? No Userforms in Excel for Mac VBA? I just purchased Office 2016, hoping that there would be enhanced compatibility with the Windows version. But instead... this? Does anyone write serious VBA Apps without using Userforms? This is a big problem for me. If Microsoft is incapable of delivering basic functionality here (and it is 2018, so they've had time) they should fess up and suggest a work-around. For example, give those of us who just purchased Office 2016 a free copy of Office for Windows to use while we're waiting for a Mac version that works. Or, our money back.

  • Franz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Near three years later in March 2018 and still no userforms. What gives?

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Allow me to be specific. In Excel 16.9, one still cannot create or edit a form. Sure seems like a core feature to me.

  • admin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The VBA implementation in Mac Excel 2016 in **not** fully compatible with the previous versions of VBA: TOS+ is a very powerful workbook that uses a lot of VBA.

    While it works fine on Mac Excel 2011, and PC versions of Excel 2007 to 2016, it is unusable on Mac Excel 2016 (all those using Mac Excel 2016 report that TOS+ is having issues on Mac Excel 2016 and cannot use TOS+ on that platform)

    I have been unable to find WHY TOS+ works fine on all other Excels, but not on Mac Excel 2016... That is pretty frustrating :(

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Get your facts straight folks. Most if not all of the VBA functionality has been restored to the latest versions of Office for the Mac.

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