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I have extensive experience with VBA programming in Excel 5 through Excel 2013. As a former aerospace engineer with a large aerospace corporation and consultant in a small defense technology services company, I have developed a wide range of applications in VBA, including simulations involving mixed-language programming, satellite orbit mechanics, graphics and animation, and real-time applications. I am interested in moderate to hard VBA-related questions only.

Experience in the area

I have developed and taught several courses in Excel VBA programming and also VBA programming in Office 97, 2000, and 2007. I have developed a number of large technical applications in Excel VBA for use within the aerospace industry.


B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley.

What do you like about this subject?

I enjoy helping others, not just to solve their particular problem, but also to improve their proficiency and understanding of Excel and VBA. As a result, I always try to explain why a particular problem has occurred and why a particular solution works rather than just providing a solution.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

VBA is a powerful general-purpose scripting language, not just a macro recording capability. When one learns to program in VBA rather than just recording macros, a whole world of new capabilities opens up.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

Contrary to the belief of many, VBA is exactly the same in Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and Access. It is only the object models of the hosting applications, and therefore the way one works with their objects, that are different. As a result, once one knows VBA one need only learn the object model of any new application to program effectively in it.

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Lukas10/28/16101010I cannot begin to thank you enough .....
dave09/29/16101010Thanks Damon! Excellent example and explanation. Dave

Recent Answers from Damon Ostrander

2016-10-27 Having a warning message appear only once:

Hi Lukas,    Probably the best way to eliminate the unwanted warning messages is to only issue the message if cell P4 changes.  Since the Worksheet_Change event does not trigger when a cell changes due

2016-10-11 Excel 3D Animation etc:

Hi Charles,    I wish I had a simple solution to your problem, but in more than an hour of searching I have found nothing that I believes provides exactly what you want.  There are several problems with

2016-10-01 worsheet calculate - prevVal:

Hi Dave,    Monitoring and comparing against a previous value as you are doing is a good way to do this, and should not cause problems.  The only exception would be where the cell you want to monitor is

2016-09-28 VBA runs exe:

Hi Dave,    You can use the Shell function in VBA to run an exe.  It is very easy to use.  For example:       Dim Success    As Boolean     Success = Shell("C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\wmplayer

2016-09-14 Question:

Hi again Liz,    There are a lot of different ways a lookup can fail to work properly. I recommend you create a sanitized worksheet with fake names and employee numbers, or try to describe how the information


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This topic answers questions related to Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (or workbook) stand-alone or Mircrosoft Office Excel including Excel 2003, Excel 2007, Office 2000, and Office XP. You can get Excel help on Excel formulas(or functions), Excell macros, charting in Excel, advanced features, and the general use of Excel. This does not provide a general Excel tutorial nor the basics of using a spreadsheet. It provides specific answers to using Microsoft Excel only. If you do not see your Excel question answered in this area then please ask an Excel question here


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