How To Automate With Microsoft Excel – A Brief Guide

Many businesses have Microsoft Excel. But they aren’t aware of how you can use Excel for automation. Giving the function to easily automate tasks, its macros feature will provide businesses with a convenient process that will save time – and therefore money. Also having the capability to standardise document formats, the possibilities are endless with Excel automation. 

You don’t have to be an Excel expert to use macros. You simply need to understand the steps in which you have to take to record the screen. Once you have pressed record, your actions will start to be recorded. Once the spreadsheet is exactly how you want it – with the correct formatting and style, you can stop the recording. The tasks will then be automated – without you having to interfere.

A Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code, the macro will live within the document. With the ability to manipulate it, it can become an invaluable tool that can be used to:

  • Manipulate text and data
  • Create new documents
  • Apply the correct formatting and style 
  • Communicate with a variety of data sources – from text files to databases.

Things to Consider with Excel Macros

Before you dive headfirst into using Excel Macro, you must consider the implications of using the program. Firstly, you must be aware of the fact that if you want to move the data from one worksheet to another, the VBA code must be manually modified. 

Secondly, you will want to ensure that you have set precise instructions before fully automating the tasks. You don’t want to come back onto the and columns have been destroyed! To make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s a good idea to thoroughly research how to use macros. Once you’re fully aware of the process, have a few practice runs before implementing it within the business.

How Businesses Can Use Excel: Use Cases 

As aforementioned, Excel can be used to automate tasks. Not only do businesses love this because it saves their employees time, but it will reduce labour costs, can result in an improved performance within your workforce and can increase productivity.

Here are some use cases, demonstrating the specific ways in which businesses can utilise this tool:

  • Preparing and automating customer reports from the collected data – e.g information can be sourced from questionnaires or scanned barcodes.
  • Merging data to create custom lists – a way of preparing the data so it can then be imported into another system.
  • A way of creating custom spreadsheet templates
  • Creating budget plans and forecasts – key within the financial industry.

A Simple Step-by-Step Process of Recording Your Screen on Macros

  1. Go on Microsoft Excel
  2. Click on preferences on the toolbar
  3. Click on the ribbon tab
  4. In the customise the ribbon tab, select the Developer box before clicking save.

Once you have completed these steps, you can do the following:

  1. Click Record Macro on the Developer tab
  2. A box will appear, within this Macro name box, enter a name – make sure you don’t put any spaces.
  3. Select where you will want to save your macro – if you only require it to be saved in that particular workbook, save it under ‘This Workbook’. Alternatively, select ‘Personal Macro Workbook’ if you want to use it on any computer.
  4. In the Description box that appears, describe what the macro does – this is invaluable if multiple people will be accessing the document.
  5. Click OK – this will start the recording
  6. Perform the actions you want.
  7. Click on the Developer tab and select Stop Recording

Final Thoughts

So there you go. Those are just some of the use cases for Microsoft Excel. A tool that can be utilised when you want to automate processes within your business, the benefits that come with it aren’t limited by the industry that you’re in. Although it is a simple process when you get the hang of it, you may require Excel help and may want to hire Excel specialists from time to time – which is where we come in.