Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Debugging a Macro.

Debugging a Macro

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 11, 2016)

5

In Excel, macros are written in a language called Visual Basic for Applications, or VBA. When you write a macro, you need to test it and correct any errors in the macro. This process is called debugging. The process of debugging a macro in VBA is the same as debugging in any other programming language. All you need to do is step through the macro, one command at a time, and make sure it works as you think it should. You do this by viewing both the windows for your macro and a test worksheet. As you step through the macro (using the commands available in the Debug menu of the VBA Editor), you can correct any errors you locate. (I particularly like to use the F8 key to step through the macro one line at a time.)

As you are debugging macros, you need to make sure you think through every possible way the macro could be used and all the possible conditions that could exist at the time the macro is invoked. Try the macro out in all these ways and under all these conditions. In this way, you will make your macro much more useful.

Don't be surprised, however, if you give your workbook to some friends and they discover bugs you never thought of. In those cases, the debugging process is the exact same as mentioned above—except you use their data as your test worksheet. Try to go through the macro using their data, one line at a time, until you discover where your code went wrong and then fix it.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7732) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Debugging a Macro.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 7 + 5?

2016-02-11 17:28:50

Thomson

You also can combine with STOP function for debugging.

Using F8 for initial checking than use STOP to skip all line that you already checked in your re-run.


2015-10-11 07:34:10

Barry

@Winston

It is always helpful to show the code snippet and indicate the line of code which is causing the error. Miscorosft VBA are often crptic/not very helpful in determining the causes or the error.


2015-10-11 00:35:28

Winston

Wrote a simple macro to enter company address and an Error 28 was returned a run time error. How do I debug and fix this or might there be a different problem?


2013-01-15 11:40:17

Aldo Santolla

And if you create macros or user forms that reference other library files, be careful to use standard ones or you may have to included those library files used, in your distribution of the workbook to other users.


2013-01-14 13:58:03

Glenn Case

You may also need to use the other person's machine, as sometimes errors may be driven by options on the particular machine, such as add-ins, etc.


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