Want to become an expert in VBA? So this is the right place for you. This blog mainly focus on teaching how to apply Visual Basic for Microsoft Excel. So improve the functionality of your excel workbooks with the aid of this blog. Also ask any questions you have regarding MS Excel and applying VBA. We are happy to assist you.

Add Button To Excel Worksheet

    We often need to add buttons to worksheets. We can use buttons for many things. Triggering a macro and navigate through worksheets are two very common use of buttons. Sometimes appearance of the button is not very important. But there are situations where we need to give higher concern for its appearance. Specially when creating dashboards. Because it is very important to give professional look to your dashboard.

    There are several types of buttons available. In this post I will show you how to add Form Control Button to your excel worksheet. Lots of people use this button to trigger macros. However I don't recommend these buttons for dashboards. Because we can't even change the color of these buttons to match with our dashboards. Also we can't change the font color of the button. But this type of buttons are very useful if you want to trigger macros. Because these buttons are compatible with all excel versions. Specially with Mac versions. So if you use this kind of button you can assure that your users will able to run macros by clicking the button from any OS and any Excel version.

    If you want to add a form control button to your worksheet, first go to the Developer tab of your excel application. If Developer tab is not visible in your Excel application,  below post will explain you how to do that.

How to show the Developer tab

After go to the developer tab, click on the insert menu. Then you will see this kind of icons.

Then click on the Button (Form Control). Then your mouse pointer will look like this.

Then click somewhere on the worksheet and drag like below to form small rectangle.

Then release the mouse. You will see this kind of pop up window.

This pop up window helps you to assign macros directly when you create the button. In this case no macros listed because there are no macros in opened files. So you can click OK to create the button without assigning any macro. Then you can assign macro later if you need. However if you have macros in your files, then this pop up will look like below.

So there are two macros in the files. One is MyFirstMacro and other is MyMacro. So if you need to assign any of these macros to your button, first click on the macro name and then click on the OK button.

When you click OK button, form control button will created in the worksheet like this.

Then you can edit text and also you can change font type, font size etc. But you can not change the color of font or color of the button.

Create Excel Timer Using VBA

    Today I'm going to show you how to create a Excel Timer. First we need to add two buttons to the excel sheet. One is to start timer. Other one is to stop the timer. And we need to reserve one cell to display the value. Here is an example interface.

We can give it nice look by removing grid-lines.

Now add new module in the VBA editor of your workbook. And add below code to it.

Public StopMacro As Boolean

Sub StartTimer()

StopMacro = False

Dim WS As Worksheet

Set WS = Worksheets("Sheet1")

Dim StartTime, timeNow

StartTime = Now

Do Until StopMacro = True
    timeNow = Now
    WS.Range("F8").Value = Format(timeNow - StartTime, "hh:mm:ss")

End Sub

Sub StopTimer()

StopMacro = True

End Sub

Then assign StartTimer macro to start button and StopTimer macro to Stop button. I think you will able to understand this code easily. However I will explain few important points. In this program we have declared one public variable of type Boolean. We use that variable to detect when user click stop button. So when user click stop button, value of StopMacro variable become true. Then it is detected in do until loop.

In this program we used inbuilt Excel function call Now which returns date and time.

Value entering cell and format of the value is given by below line of code.

WS.Range("F8").Value = Format(timeNow - StartTime, "hh:mm:ss")

Also it is very important to use DoEvents within the do until loop. Otherwise user will not get any chance to click on the stop button and loop will become infinite loop.

Do Until StopMacro = True
    timeNow = Now
    WS.Range("F8").Value = Format(timeNow - StartTime, "hh:mm:ss")

And this is how timer shows the time.

Pause Program Execution In VBA - Sleep and Wait Functions

Sometimes we need to pause the execution of our program for a specific time. In VBA, we can use a few methods to do this. VBA Wait method and Sleep functions are two popular methods used by VBA developers.

Why you need to use Sleep or Wait in VBA

  • Sleep or wait method let other applications complete their processes.
    For example if you are developing a web scraping program, the Internet explorer should get sufficient time to load the webpage.
  • To get input from users
    Sometimes you may want to let the user input data to a VBA form before completing the rest of the process.
  • Let the user to use another program manually
    Using VBA we can automate various applications like MS Word, Powerpoint, Internet Explorer etc. But there are third party applications which we can not automate using VBA. In such cases we can use sleep function or wait method and let the user complete the middle process manually. Once that part is completed the macro can resume from that point.

Now Let’s look at how to use these two methods in VBA programs.

This is how to use the Wait method to pause a macro for 10 seconds.

Sub WaitForTenSeconds()

Application.Wait (Now + TimeValue("0:00:10"))

End Sub

However Sleep is a windows function. It is not a VBA function like Wait. So you have to declare the name of the API at the top of your module. So this is how you can pause the program for 10 seconds using the Sleep function.

#If VBA7 Then
    Public Declare PtrSafe Sub Sleep Lib "kernel32" (ByVal duration_Milliseconds As LongPtr) 'For 64 Bit Systems
    Public Declare Sub Sleep Lib "kernel32" (ByVal duration_Milliseconds As Long) 'For 32 Bit Systems
#End If

Sub WaitForTenSeconds()

Sleep 10000     'You need to input the time in milliseconds

End Sub

Here is a question lot of people get

Should I use a VBA sleep or Wait

First of all Sleep is not a VBA function. Sleep is a windows function. You should import it from Kernel32.dll

What is a Kernel
The kernel is the lowest level of any operating system. And it is the core or the central component of an operating system. It starts when the computer starts and keeps loaded until it is turned off. kernel manages the CPU resources, memory resources and processes of the computer. It also contains device drivers. Therefore when you do networking or use the file system, they all go through the kernel.

So functionality of both of these methods are the same. However Wait is more accurate than Sleep. But Sleep is more flexible as you can give the time in milliseconds. If you use Wait method, shortest time you can pause the program is 1 second.
Also there is another important aspect you need to consider. That is, if you use sleep or wait in VBA programs, you will notice that these functions suspend all other activities of Microsoft Excel. You can't even click in the excel sheets. However, you can work in other applications.

But sometimes you may need to pause the program for a longer time. And while the program is paused, you may need to do some work in the Excel application like typing, navigating between sheets, scrolling through the sheets etc. We don't often need this. But it may be needed specially in web scraping applications. Because sometimes users need to analyze gathered data while the web scraping program runs. However there is no VBA function or VBA method available for this. So we need to create our own custom pausing method. Read this post if you want to know how.

How to pause a macro for specific time

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