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New VB Editor for Excel 2016 for Mac

Bottom line: A new updated VB Editor has just been released for Excel 2016 for Mac to make it easier to write VBA Macros.

Skill level: Beginner

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Big Update to the VB Editor for Mac

I know many Mac users have been waiting along time for this, and I'm excited to share that an update to the VB Editor is finally here!

Microsoft just released a new build of Excel that contains a new VB Editor, which we use to write VBA macros in Excel.

The new VB Editor contains a lot of the features we are used to seeing in the Windows versions of Excel, or Excel 2011 for Mac.

In the video above I highlight some of the many new improvements to the editor.  Here is a list of the major new features.

  • Intellisense drop-down menus for auto-filling code.
  • Toolbars with buttons to for commands like: indenting, comment blocks, run, reset (stop), step into, etc.
  • VBA Project, Properties, Immediate, Locals, and Watch windows.
  • Debugging features and options.
  • Keyboard shortcuts listed next to each command on the top menus.

VB Editor Excel 2016 for Mac Features Update

This new VB Editor feels a lot more like the VB Editor we are used to on the Windows version of Excel.

The one notable feature that is missing right now is userforms.  The latest version (7.1) does not have any features that allow you to create, modify, or even view an existing userform.  I'm hoping that will be updated in the near future as well.

You can vote for the userforms feature on the Excel UserVoice site.  Microsoft uses this site to help prioritize feature updates, so please vote there if you want userforms back.

Even with the absence of userforms, this new VB Editor is a huge leap forward from the editor that was originally shipped with Excel 2016 for Mac.  If you are a Mac user, you will now be able to write macros to help you automate Excel and save time with your job.

If you are new to macros or want to learn more, checkout my upcoming free webinar on The 7 Steps to Getting Started with Macros & VBA.

Macros and VBA Webinar Banner - Oct 2017 - 550x200

Get the Office Insiders Fast Pre-Release Build

Important Note: You no longer need the Insiders Fast build to get the new VB Editor.  You might just need to update Office which can be done from the Help > Check for Updates menu.  Here is the page with the release notes for Office that lists all the recent updates.

To get the updated version you will need to be on an Office 365 subscription and on the Office Insiders Fast Program.  That program is free to join and open to everyone.

It allows you to download and install pre-release builds of Excel.  The latest build is 16.6 at the time of this writing, and it includes PivotCharts and a new VB Editor for writing VBA macros.  Two awesome updates for Mac users.

How to Get Office Insiders Pre-release Builds of Excel for Mac Video Thumb

Checkout my video on how to join Office Insiders and get the pre-release version.  It's really easy to do!

Help Microsoft with Feedback

As part of the Pre-release Program, Microsoft would love to get your feedback on how to make pivot charts better.

If you find any bugs or have any suggestions you can provide feedback by:

  1. Clicking the smiley face icon in the top-right corner of Excel.
  2. Click the “Tell Us What Can Be Better” option.
  3. Complete the form and hit Send.

The Excel development team will receive the feedback and use it to make Excel even better.

If you are excited about this update, please leave a comment below and let us know.  Thank you! 🙂

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Jon Acampora
 

Welcome to Excel Campus! I am excited you are here. My name is Jon and my goal is to help you learn Excel to save time with your job and advance in your career. I've been an avid Excel user and VBA developer for 10+ years. I am also a Microsoft MVP. I try to learn something new everyday, and want to share this knowledge with you to help you improve your skills. When I'm not looking at spreadsheets, I get outdoors and surf. :) more about me

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 17 comments
Ian - August 3, 2018

As of now (and maybe for some months gone by), Mac Excel 2016 is at version 16.15 which means that to get the updated VB Editor Jon is talking about, you no longer need to be registered for Office Insiders and then download the Fast Pre-Release Build. Just allowing Microsoft’s Auto Update to install the latest version is all you need to do: access it in Excel’s Help menu, under “Check for Updates”.

Reply
    Jon Acampora - August 4, 2018

    Thanks for the update Ian! 🙂 I will update the article as well.

    Reply
maria - May 3, 2018

I need to create forms in an Excel for Mac worksheet. Any tips if I can do that using a macro, or even an example of the macro would be welcomed. Thanks.

Reply
John - March 7, 2018

“Even with the absence of userforms, this new VB Editor is a huge leap forward.”

Are you paid by Microsoft to say dumb things? It’s like being told you’re better off paying more for health insurance, or getting your 401K contribution cut and the company telling you that its and improvement. Or buying a new car that has no seats and nowhere to put them. Statements this stupid and misleading should be punished somehow.

No UserForms –> Product is useless. Period.

Reply
    Ian - August 3, 2018

    Wow, John, settle down! It’s not Jon Acampora’s fault that Excel for Mac is incomplete. He is perfectly correct to say that the new VB Editor for the Mac is a huge advance from what Microsoft previously provided (or more accurately FAILED to provide) for Mac users. Nowhere did Jon say or imply that the Mac VBE was perfect, or even feature-complete – quite the contrary in fact. So save your wrath for Microsoft, who have contemptuously screwed Mac users with Excel 2016.

    Reply
    Jon Acampora - August 4, 2018

    Yikes! And thanks Ian! 🙂

    Just to clarify, I was referring to the VB Editor that was originally shipped with Excel 2016 for Mac. It wasn’t much of an editor and looked like the following.

    No toolbars or debugging capabilities.

    This new editor is definitely a step forward, even with the absence of userforms. I realize that Excel 2011 for Mac did have userforms, so compared to that it is still lacking features.

    You can run userforms on the Excel 2016 for Mac. They will just have to be developed in either a Windows version or Excel 2011. I realize this is frustrating if you are only using Macs.

    In the past I have used Parallels on a Mac to run Windows, and it worked great. This is another option if you want to get the best of both worlds. Yes, it will come at a price, and no, I don’t get paid by Microsoft.

    I hope that helps. 🙂

    Reply
    Jon Acampora - August 4, 2018

    You can also vote for the userforms feature on the Excel UserVoice site. Here is a link to that page.

    https://excel.uservoice.com/forums/304933-excel-for-mac/suggestions/10355043-enable-vba-support-for-creating-and-editing-userfo

    I added a link in the article above as well. Microsoft uses that site to help prioritize updates based on votes.

    I think it’s also important to note that Macs still only make up about 8%-10% of total market share for personal computers. And MS and Apple are still competitors. So those two factors will probably always give priority to Windows versions of Office.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love Apple products too. Our house is full of them. We just can’t expect our sports car to be good at off roading… 🙂

    Reply
Bif - January 26, 2018

Thanks for this. Would it be fair to say that most macros that I create on a mac would work now on a pc (and vice versa)?

Reply
Mark - January 10, 2018

(You can ignore that question unless you think it adds value to the page. I went ahead and bought the Mac 2016 version, and those two commands work fine on my installation. Not sure what’s up with my friend’s installation. Maybe a setting.)

Reply
Mark - January 9, 2018

Hi Jon,

Thanks for your video above. I’m contemplating moving from PC to Mac, and trying (without much success) to understand how complete the VBA implementation is in Mac Office 2016. I recently tested an xlsm file I wrote in PC Excel 2007 on a friend’s Mac Office 2016, and it choked on trying to create a Word file from within Excel. This uses the lines:

Set objWord = CreateObject(“Word.Application”)
Set objDoc = objWord.Documents.Add

Is there a newer way to do this in the most recent Mac implementation? I read something about sandboxing on the Mac Office, which makes me think “no”.

Wondering in general how complete the port of Excel VBA was to the Mac version.

Thanks much!

Mark Willis

Reply
    Ric - January 31, 2018

    Hi Mark,

    Have you got an answer for this question or did you find the solution ?

    I spent a lot of time for that on a test computer. I can’t upgrade my office for 2016 if I don’t resolve this problem.

    Regards

    Reply
    John - March 7, 2018

    There are no userforms in the Mac version which makes VBA for Mac almost entirely pointless.

    Reply
      JustMe - March 16, 2018

      Agreed. Without some replacement for ActiveX, this is an almost useless editor.

      Reply
Alex - December 6, 2017

Good afternoon,

I have a problem with the VB editor in Excel 2016 and it is shown in a single row and of course, this makes it impossible to read.
Do you have a solution?

Thank you

Reply
Eduardo Prieto - November 26, 2017

Good day Mr Acampora,

Recently I bought a Mac and installed 2016 Microsoft excel for Mac.

I am used to create a lot of applications for my job using user forms, but when I looked for it in my Mac I realized that there is no such tool box and a button where I can generate a new User form. There is the instruction code, and my previous files with user forms worked.

How can I create user forms with excel in my Mac?

Thank you

Regards

EP

Reply
Lado - October 12, 2017

Dear mr. Acampora,

do you maybe know, if VBA could be implied in IOS version too

thanks in advance

Best Regards,

Lado

Reply
    Jon Acampora - October 12, 2017

    Hi Lado,
    Unfortunately we cannot run VBA macros on the mobile (iOS or Android) or web versions of Excel. Creating apps on those platforms will require using the new JavaScript APIs. I’ll do a post on that in the future.

    Reply

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