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Merge Excel data into PowerPoint presentations to create certificates, awards presentations, personalized presentations and more

Resize your presentations quickly and without distortion

Language Selector switches the text in your presentation from one language to another

FixLinks prevents broken links when you distribute PowerPoint presentations

Shape Styles brings styles to PowerPoint. Apply complex formatting with a single click.

Is VBA the answer? Is it the RIGHT answer? Will it solve my presentation problem?

Before deciding on a VBA solution to a problem, you should understand the limits of VBA. What follows may sound negative; it's not meant that way. But it IS an honest look, from a guy who LOVES VBA, at what you can and can't expect VBA to do for your presentations.

We figure you'd much rather learn that "You can't do that" before spending weeks pounding your head against the walls learning that "You can't do that". That in turn might save you the cost (and embarassment) of planning an important presentation around VBA tricks that turn out to be impossible to use in your situation.

Will you use the free PowerPoint Viewer?
If your presentation needs to run in the free PowerPoint Viewer, then VBA is out. The Viewer doesn't support VBA at all.

How about the iOS, Android or web versions of PowerPoint?
No VBA support there either.

Security Settings
If you can assume a desktop version of PowerPoint (Windows or Mac), the next thing to consider is the security settings on the individual computers. Do you control these settings or can you persuade individual users to adjust their settings to meet your needs?

Depending on the user's macro security settings, PowerPoint may ask the user whether to allow your VBA code to run when they open the presentation file that contains it (the default) or it may silently disable your macros.

In rare cases, it may simply allow your code to run with no questions asked. And you may win the lottery that same day.

Running on a Mac?
VBA won't work in Mac PowerPoint 2008. Period. It does work in previous and later versions.

Code That Runs Automatically
Some Office applications (Word, Excel) have a way to run VBA code automatically when the user opens a document.

PowerPoint doesn't.

An Auto_Open subroutine within an Add-in will run at the time the Add-in loads, so IF you can create an Add-in and install it on the user's computer Create an ADD-IN with TOOLBARS that run macros then

Can VBA even do this?
Even if you're still with us, VBA may not be the answer. VBA allows us to automate nearly everything that PowerPoint can do. It even allows us to do some things that PowerPoint can't do under normal user control. But PowerPoint doesn't "expose" all of its capabilities to VBA.

There are some features that a user can click with a mouse but that VBA simply can't "see". What PowerPoint doesn't expose, VBA can't control and we can't automate.

How can you tell what can and can't be controlled?

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Is VBA the answer? Is it the RIGHT answer? Will it solve my presentation problem?
Last update 31 August, 2017