Excel Tutorial: What Is Macro Enabled Excel


If you have ever wondered what macro enabled excel is and how it can benefit you, then you have come to the right place. Macro enabled excel is simply a regular excel file (.xlsx) that contains macros - a series of recorded actions or VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) code that automates repetitive tasks in Excel. This powerful feature can save you time and effort by allowing you to automate tasks such as generating reports, formatting data, and performing calculations with just the click of a button. In this tutorial, we will explore the ins and outs of macro enabled excel and how you can leverage its capabilities to enhance your productivity.

Key Takeaways

  • Macro enabled excel contains recorded actions or VBA code that automates tasks in Excel, saving time and effort.
  • Enabling macros in excel allows you to automate tasks such as generating reports, formatting data, and performing calculations with just the click of a button.
  • Creating macros in excel involves recording the actions you want to automate and following best practices for maintaining and updating them.
  • Using macros in excel requires understanding common issues such as security concerns, compatibility issues, and troubleshooting errors in macro code.
  • Exploring and experimenting with macros can enhance productivity and efficiency in Excel, making it important to understand and utilize macro enabled excel.

Benefits of using macro enabled excel

Macro enabled excel can provide several benefits to users, making it a valuable tool for streamlining processes and increasing productivity.

  • Saves time and effort

    One of the primary benefits of using macro enabled excel is the ability to save time and effort. By recording and running macros, users can automate repetitive tasks, such as formatting, data entry, and calculations. This allows them to complete these tasks in a fraction of the time it would take to do them manually.

  • Automates repetitive tasks

    Macro enabled excel allows users to automate repetitive tasks, eliminating the need to perform the same actions over and over again. This not only saves time but also reduces the risk of errors that can occur when performing these tasks manually.

  • Increases accuracy

    By automating tasks with macro enabled excel, users can increase the accuracy of their work. Macros can be programmed to perform tasks with precision, reducing the potential for human error. This can be particularly beneficial when working with large datasets or complex calculations.

How to enable macros in excel

Enabling macros in Excel allows you to automate tasks and save time by recording a series of commands and actions. Here's how you can enable macros in Excel:

  • Go to the 'Developer' tab
  • To enable macros in Excel, you first need to make sure that the 'Developer' tab is visible in the ribbon. If it's not already visible, you can enable it by clicking on 'File', then selecting 'Options', and finally, clicking on 'Customize Ribbon'. In the right-hand pane, check the box next to 'Developer' and click 'OK'.

  • Select 'Macro Security'
  • Once the 'Developer' tab is visible, navigate to it and click on it. Then, in the 'Code' group, select 'Macro Security'. This will open the 'Trust Center' dialog box where you can configure the macro settings for Excel.

  • Choose the option 'Enable all macros'
  • Within the 'Trust Center' dialog box, you will see different security settings for macros. To enable all macros, select the 'Enable all macros' option. Keep in mind that enabling all macros can make your computer vulnerable to potentially harmful macro code, so it's important to only enable macros from trusted sources.

How to create a macro in Excel

Creating a macro in Excel allows you to automate repetitive tasks and increase efficiency. Follow these steps to create a macro in Excel:

  • Open the 'Developer' tab
  • To create a macro in Excel, you need to access the 'Developer' tab. If the 'Developer' tab is not visible, you can enable it by clicking on 'File' > 'Options' > 'Customize Ribbon' and then checking the 'Developer' option.

  • Click on 'Record Macro'
  • Once you have the 'Developer' tab open, click on 'Record Macro' to start the macro recording process. You will be prompted to give the macro a name and assign it to a specific location, such as a personal macro workbook or the current workbook.

  • Perform the actions you want to automate
  • After clicking 'Record Macro', Excel will start recording your actions. Perform the tasks that you want to automate, such as formatting cells, creating formulas, or any other repetitive actions. Once you have completed the tasks, click on 'Stop Recording' in the 'Developer' tab to finish recording the macro.

Best Practices for Using Macros in Excel

When working with macros in Excel, it's important to follow best practices to ensure the smooth functioning of your spreadsheets. Here are some key guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Always test the macro before using it extensively
  • Before deploying a macro across a large dataset or using it on critical spreadsheets, it's crucial to thoroughly test it to ensure it performs as expected. This will help identify any potential errors or bugs that need to be addressed before widespread use.

  • Keep the macro code simple and well-documented
  • When writing macro code, it's best to keep it as straightforward as possible. This makes it easier to understand and maintain in the long run. Additionally, be sure to include detailed comments within the code to explain its functionality and purpose.

  • Regularly update and maintain macros
  • As your Excel spreadsheets evolve and change over time, it's important to regularly review and update any macros that are being used. This includes making adjustments to accommodate new requirements or fixing any issues that may arise due to changes in the spreadsheet structure.

Common issues with macro enabled excel

Macro enabled excel can be a powerful tool for automating tasks and streamlining workflows, but it also comes with its own set of challenges and potential pitfalls. Here are some common issues that users may encounter when working with macro enabled excel:

  • Security concerns
  • One of the primary concerns with macro enabled excel is the potential for security risks. Since macros can execute code within the workbook, they can also be used to run malicious code that can harm your computer or steal sensitive information. It's important to always be cautious when enabling macros from unknown sources and to regularly update your security settings to protect against potential threats.

  • Compatibility issues with different versions of Excel
  • Another issue that users may face with macro enabled excel is compatibility issues when working with different versions of Excel. Macros that are created in one version of Excel may not work properly in another version, leading to functionality issues and errors. It's important to test and verify the compatibility of macros across different versions of Excel to ensure smooth operation.

  • Troubleshooting errors in macro code
  • When working with macro enabled excel, users may encounter errors in the macro code that can cause the workbook to malfunction. Troubleshooting these errors can be a complex process that requires a solid understanding of VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) and debugging techniques. Regularly testing and debugging the macro code can help to identify and resolve errors before they cause major disruptions.


Understanding and using macro enabled excel is essential for users looking to automate and streamline tasks in Excel. We encourage you to explore and experiment with macros to see how they can benefit your workflow. As discussed in this blog post, macros can save time, reduce errors, and improve efficiency when used correctly. Remember to always use caution and follow best practices when working with macros to ensure the safety and security of your data.

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