The Beginning of the End

News.com report that VBA will not be supported in next Mac Office.

The company said the next version of the Mac Office will discontinue support for Visual Basic scripting. However, it will add better support for Mac scripting methods such as AppleScript and Automator.

When asked if it was time to panic, a leading Excel blogger (me) said, “Yes. Yes it is.”

Any Mac Office users out there care to comment on this. I don’t use a Mac so I don’t know if this is big news or not. Maybe all the Mac Office user are using AppleScript anyway.

Hat tip: Jonathan

Update:

Erik Schwiebert has a long post about the decision to scrap VBA in Mac Office.

Again, this is all a design that long predates me or most of my peers in Mac Office, and is code that we inherited when we created the MacBU (i.e, none of us wrote it in the first place.)

Am I buying software from you or from Microsoft? If you leave, are all bets off? Do I still get support, warranty, security patches when there’s turnover?

Richard the commenter says:

The only thing that I’ve read that may counter my suspicions that Microrsoft is not moving toward abandoning Mac OS is that Microsoft is also deprecating VBA for Windows…

I don’t know who Richard is or who Richard knows, but that is not what I heard. I’ve never heard MS, or anyone else, say that VBA was on the way out. I’ve certainly surmised that that was the case, but I’ve never heard anything official, and I doubt he has either.

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7 thoughts on “The Beginning of the End

  1. When asked if it was time to panic, a handsome Excel aficionado(me) said, “No. No it isn’t.”

    This sound more like manuevering between two competitors than a looming policy change.

    Mac Users: So sorry for you. Maybe it’s time to start using a PC for business.
    PC Users: Relax. It will be several years before Microsoft steps on your head.

  2. Dick, I’m confused. This article appears only to talk about scripting, it never mentions VBA. Why are the two necessarily linked?

  3. When asked if it was time to panic, a crotchety old banjo-pickin’ Excel book writer said, “Nah, VBA will still be supported in Excel/Windows for at least 10 years. By then, I’ll be ready to retire anyway.”

  4. I think the end actually began a while back. As Bob Dylan said “He not busy being born is busy dying.”

  5. As a Excel 2003 (Win) user at work and Excel 2004 (Mac) at home, I’m not too surprised. (My power stuff is on XL 2003.) Disappointed, but not surprised. VBA for Mac was based on VB5, the same as Excel 97, so VBA on the Mac side has always been a stepchild, and not well documented, supported.

    The biggest problem will be for exchanging files back and forth with any kind of VBA.

    But maybe programming separate from a specific software (vendor) will be good. I know some who have used Perl/Python/AppleScript to handle most of what they wanted to do with Office on the Mac side. So, guess I may have to learn one or more. All three are included as part of Mac OS X.

    But John, I’ll be retiring before you!!! LOL

  6. I’ve got pretty much the same set up as Rich. This will make me have to take a long hard look at if I’ll buy the next version of Office for the Mac. I’m an intermediate VBA user and the idea of taking the time to learn AppleScript (either standalone or through Automator) does not interest me at all. If anything comes of this, it’s a hope that someone will come up with a true competitor to Excel on the Mac.


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