VBA for Macs: A Comprehensive Guide to Unleashing the Power of Excel

If you work in an office or if you run your own business, then you will know how to put together a spreadsheet and you may even be able to organise it.

However, when you start dealing with a large amount of data, things can start to get a little muddled fairly quickly. 

If you are using a Mac, you may have wondered if you can unleash the power of Excel if you are not sure what is compatible with your machine.

The good news is that VBAs for Macs can help you to turn large swathes of data into something more manageable. Let’s get started.

What is Excel VBA?

Excel VBA is short for Visual Basic for Applications. The easiest way to explain VBA is that it is the language that Microsoft that allows you to tell the programme what to do.

You do this by creating macros (or macroinstructions) which are essentially instructions for Excel. These formulas are characters that fulfil a function when you input them into your sheet. 

VBA can be used across the full range of Microsoft Office programmes, but it can be particularly useful in Excel. In short, VBA gives you the power to make your own solutions and alter your sheets as you want.

excel vba for MAC

VBA Editor or VB Editor?

VBA editor (or VB editor) is a separate programme from Excel, although it is part of it. You will need to download VB Editor if you want to use VBA.

Every time you create and save a macro, it will be stored in VB Editor, or you can create one directly in there if you want. You can edit it any time you want, and it is kept separate from your worksheet so only you have access to it. 

Create your own Excel Macros in Visual Basic for Applications.

Does VBA Work on Macs?

The short answer to this question is “yes, depending on what you’re using.” Macs come with their own version of Excel, which is called Numbers.

In many ways, Numbers is similar to Excel, but macros don’t work on it. Therefore, if you don’t have Excel, you can’t use Macros.

This is because VBA works on Microsoft office suite products. However, if you have Microsoft Excel on your Mac, then VBA should work perfectly fine. 

how to get excel vba on a MAC

How to Get VBA on Your Mac

If your Mac has Excel, then you will be able to get VBA and start creating Macros to handle your tasks, automate functions and start handling large quantities of data.

Here are the steps that you will need to take. 

  1. Download Microsoft Excel onto your Mac.
  2. Find the Developer tab by clicking Preferences on the Excel menu.
  3. Click the Ribbon in Sharing and Privacy and find Developer in the Customize section.
  4. Check that you have the Developer tab on your toolbar and click on it.
  5. Find the Visual Basic group on the Developer tab and click Editor.

Clicking on the Editor section will open up the Microsoft Visual Basic editor, and this is where you can get started entering and editing code. It will be blank at first, so don’t worry!

How to Use VBA on Macs

Macros are at the core of VBA regardless of whether you are using a Mac, a Microsoft machine, or any other computer.

The good news is that it is working on a Mac and does not make any difference when it comes to creating, enabling, or using macros.

The first thing to do once you have found the Developer tab and have followed the step above is to ensure that you have enabled macros to allow them to run in Excel. Find the Security and Privacy section in Excel by heading to Preferences.

Here, you can choose to allow specific macros or all of the ones that Excel suggests. However, remember that if you allow all, then there may be some that you do not want. Doing this will also allow you to start creating your own macros.

You can find the Record Macro button on the Developer tab, where you will find instructions on how to make one.

using excel vba on a MAC

Why Should You Use VBA?

Using VBA is a great way to take your workbooks from something that is purely functional to something that works for you. There are many specific reasons why it could be great for your business. Here are three that are true for everyone.

  1. It is easier than you might realise, especially once you get the hang of it.
  2. It will save you time by automating time-consuming tasks that can be a massive drain.
  3. You can personalise your Excel and Office experience by creating the macros you need.

It is also important to remember that using and creating macros is free, so if you find that one is not working for you, you can simply toss it out and try to create your own that does. 

Excel VBA (Macro): 1 Hour Crash Course for Absolute Beginner

How The Excel Experts Can Support You to Enable and Use VBA for Macs

At The Excel Experts, we understand that time is of the essence for you and your business, and you may not have time to spend going through long and complicated tutorials.

We also understand that not every business owner has a great deal of experience with Excel.

That is why we have made it our mission to make Excel comprehensible and easy to use for everyone. We have a wide range of resources to help you learn more about the ins and outs of VBA for Macs and start using it.

VBA is there to save you time and make Excel and other Office products work for you. We can help you make the most of this game-changing tool to give your business the support it needs.

open excel vba mac

If you want to learn more about Excel and to unlock its potential, get in touch with our team. The Excel Experts offer by the hour work to help complete and start new projects and train your team, and we offer a 100% money-back guarantee.


What is a VBA used for?

VBA is used to create macros in Excel or other Microsoft Office programmes. These macros are commands that help you to save time by automating tasks, such as exporting and creating mailing lists or making huge amounts of data comprehensible. With VBA, you can either use existing macros or make your own. 

Is VBA available on Mac?

VBA is available on Mac, but not on Mac’s Excel equivalent Numbers. If you want to use VBA and use and create macros on your Mac, then you need to make sure that you have Microsoft Excel downloaded onto your machine. Once it is, there will be no problems and you can start making your own macros.

How do I enable VBA on my Mac?

If you want to enable VBA on your Mac, you need to head to the Developer tab in Excel and click Visual Basic. You may need to enable the Developer tab by going to Preferences and clicking Ribbon in Sharing and Privacy. You can enable macros by going to Security and Privacy, where you can select the macros that you want to run. 

Is VBA coding or programming?

VBA is considered a programming language, rather than coding. The reason for this is that you are essentially programming a line of code to perform a certain function every time you input it. The macros that you create, and use can be simple, and they can be complex, but the point is that they will get the job done that you need. 

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