Additional Resources For Excel Users
As you becomes more and more experienced with Excel and VBA programming, you will find that you have more and more questions, especially as you start exploring more advanced topics in VBA programming. This page describes some of the places on the Internet you can find help and information.
The Microsoft Knowledge Base
The Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) is a huge collection of articles provided MS Technical Support. These articles include "how to" information, answers to common questions, and bug reports. The bug reports often contains work-around solutions for the problems.
You can reach the main search page at http://search.support.microsoft.com/kb/c.asp . From this page, you search the KB by specific keyword (e.g., "VBA Form"), or by specific article number (e.g., "Q157609"), or by download file name. You can also search by typing in a "natural language" question, like "what does divide by zero mean?". For the most part, keyword searches give the best results.
If you receive an answer in the public newsgroups which says something like "See KB Q157609", it is referring to article number Q157609 in the Knowledge Base. To view this article, set the "Search By" option to "Specific article ID number", and enter "Q157609" in the "Search For" entry box. It helps to include the "Q" in the article number.
When you search by keywords, it can be useful to use
only the singular form of a word, rather than the plural form. For
example, use "Range" instead of "Ranges".
Additional search examples are available at http://support.microsoft.com/support/help/examples.asp
The Microsoft Developer's Network
The Microsoft Developer's Network (MSDN) is a great resource for intermediate and advanced level programmers in VBA. MSDN Online is available at http://msdn.microsoft.com/default.asp
There are several on-line magazines available, including MSDN Magazine and MSDN Online Voices. The cover topics in all of the MS Development tools, including C/C++ and Visual Basic, not just Office topics.
The Library section of MSDN gives you access to a vast amount of technical and reference information. The complete documentation for both Office97 and Office2000 is available online, as is the complete text of the Microsoft Office 2000 Visual Basic Programmer's Guide. You can also get the complete reference to all of the Windows API (Application Programming Interface) calls, which allow your VBA macros to make requests and get information directly from the Windows operating system, bypassing VBA completely. Extensive sample code is also available.
While most users may be satisfied with the on-line version, you can order a CD or DVD subscription to MSDN, updated quarterly, for $200 per year.
The Microsoft Public Newsgroups
When you have a specific question about Excel or VBA programming (or any other MS product), the best source of information is, by far, the public Excel newsgroups. Just point your newsreader program (such as MS Outlook Express or Forte Agent) to the msnews.microsoft.com public server, and search the available newsgroups for the one that is most relevant to your question. These are publicly available question-and-answer forums, for peer-to-peer support. MS Tech Support does not read the message to the newsgroups, and MS Tech Support does not provide the replies.
The replies are provided by other users from all walks of life, for all over the world. If you are new to the newsgroups, please read the "Hints And Tips For New Posters" guide.
Microsoft Office Update
OfficeUpdate at Microsoft is the best place to look for upgrades and add-ins for your Office programs. There are hundreds of free downloads available, as well as trial version of many commercial products. You can also download the latest security patches for Office from this site.
Microsoft presents many events in all regions of the country through out the year. You can search for events in your area here. Many of these events are free and open to the public (although you must register to attend), and others are expensive week-long conventions.
MS publishes a number of newsletters delivered weekly or monthly to your email. Start at Microsoft This Week. This is a weekly update of general product news from MS. From there, you can subscribe to any of more than a dozen newsletters, each with technical and product information about various topics. While much of the information is Microsoft marketing and public relations, there is also a lot of good technical information, and links to other MS web pages.
Woody's Office Watch
Woody Leonhard publishes "Woody's Office Watch" and "Woody's Windows Watch", email newletters send out every two or three weeks. These are great sources of hints, tips, and bug information about MS products. You can subscribe at http://www.woodyswatch.com/
Excel Experts E-Letter (EEE)
This is an email newsletter published by Microsoft MVP David Hager. Published monthly, it is a collection of formulas and VBA procedures. Many of these have appeared in the Microsoft newsgroups, and David digests and summarizes them in a concise and easy to read format. You can subscribe by sending an email to David Hager at firstname.lastname@example.org . EEE archives are available on the web at John Walkenbach's site: http://www.j-walk.com/ss/excel/eee/index.htm