May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

WSH and Office VBA Programming

WSH VBA Developer's Handbook

VBA for Dummies

Office XP Development with VBA Windows Registry
  Excel VBA MS Word VBA PowerPoint Etc

VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) is the embedded programming language in the Microsoft Office suite of applications. VBA provides a complete integrated development environment (IDE) that allows for document automation, the process of using an automated template for creating documents. Word VBA Document Automation is for those advanced users who are looking to automate the task of preparing documents and programmers who are unfamiliar with document automation and the Word object model. Among the areas that need to be learned are:

There are few books on the subject of writing Word macros, and none of the available books on the market has complete coverage. Guy Hart-Davis's Word 2000 Developer's Handbook seems to be the best.  Steven Roman's Writing Word Macros is not bad despite Amazon reviews (lemming effect ;-)


**** Microsoft Windows 2000 Scripting Guide

by The Microsoft Windows Resource Kit Sales Rank: 3,031

5 out of 5 stars Not for the faint of heart!, January 31, 2003

  Reviewer: A reader from TX United States
This book is massive!

I will hand it to the reader from Indy that there are some typos, but every book I have seen that contains code has typos. Usually, this is attributed to the fact that the person(s) who edit the book, don't understand the material. Most coders are not good editors, and most editors are not good coders.

Putting that aside, I found this book to be an extremely valuable REFERENCE. I put that in caps because if you try to read it from cover to cover, you will wind up in a mental facility making little wicker baskets. That's probably what happened to the editors ;)

In addition to typos, these books frequently suffer from very bad indexes. The accompanying CD compensates for this shortcoming by providing a fully searchable electronic version of the book.

This book is a must-have, but it is not the scripting book to start with. If you are just starting, get Stanek's Windows 2000 Scripting Bible.

 Managing Enterprise Systems with the Windows Script Host

Windows Shell Scripting and WSH Administrator's Guide


VBA Developer's Handbook

VBA Developer's Handbook, 2nd Edition

by Ken Getz, Mike Gilbert

2 out of 5 stars A book for very patient beginners, September 21, 2001
  Reviewer: rrojasg (see more about me) from Walnut, CA USA
I expected much more from this book, specially if its title says "Mastering." Although the author claims he will be hands-on and practical, in fact he elaborates on only few examples preceeded by interminable explanations. For example, the first 100 pages contain only 4 very simple and concrete cases using macros and the rest is an agonizing explanation on each and all of the components of several menus. No concrete examples that would enable the reader to cement his knowledge on solid ground.
On ocassions the author explains VBA for an specific application, say Word, but then he changes to give general explanations for all applications at once, disorderly mentioning exceptions for Excel, Word, Project or PowerPoint, what makes the reading difficult.
No, this book is not for me. I need principles and theory handsomely applied in concrete cases.

3 out of 5 stars Many hype, tons of useless elements, total lack of structure, January 21, 2002
  Reviewer: zitouni (see more about me) from Paris, France
For sure, this book has a really really exciting title, with words like power, vba and programming.
After reading the book, the reader can answer the question the author has: "why I wrote this book?". To glorify him obviously, since they're virtually everywhere I-do-this, I-do-that, I-show-you-this-and-that. The reader knows perferctly that this book has been written by the author (like any book!), so there's no need for this perpetual I-do-this things. Besides, the only element that matters is not the author bur the book itself. If you can stand this self-promotion, then the worst is yet to come.

This book has no real structure, making its use and finding information a true headache. The summary is a clear proof: part 1) some essential background, 2)excel application development, 3) VBA, 4) userforms, 5) advanced techniques, 6) developing applications, 7) others. Since part 2 is devoted to devlopping, why this subject should again comes in part 6? Besides, isn't the whole book dedicated to developing? Finding what you want, even in the detailed contents, is harsh and shows that there's no plan, but rather disseaminated pieces of information, just like the VBA help.

Instead of clearly dividing by general topic (variables, objects, methods...), the author has a special order where everything seems mixed and spread in the book. Here something about methods, then some chapters later, another thing about methods etc.

And the author, instead of devolping and insiting on crucial themes, like accessing and working with external data (e.g. Access), contents itself with a short paragraph saying: please refer to other books! However, this book devotes around 100 pages to worthless history (starting with VisiCalc in 1978!!!) and the like. Incredible! That some historical material exist, why not. But that this comes while the essential is not here, that's inadmissible. That's why what this product is supposed to give begins only at page 120.

Besides, the layout (font, colors...) makes this book very unpleasant to read, so you want to close it ASAP, which is not exactly a good point.

The 3-star ranking reflects the amount of data provided, and some good points.

If you want a true and efficient book on Excel VBA, go for Definitve guide to Excel VBA which is really worthwhile.

3 out of 5 stars Very light in content. Cannot do much after reading it, July 25, 2003
  Reviewer: book_addict1 (see more about me) from SOMEWHERE
First of all, I am non-English speaker (forgive my English). I am an Electrical Engineer, not a programmer. But I have many years programming experiences in different languages (on my own!).

I have finished up to chapter 10. The contents are very light. It talks about very basic syntax that are almost the same in any language (e.g. C, Java, Perl C++...) It puts hundreds of pages that can be done in a half of the volumn. It does not tell you much about the object details. It seems to tell you to explore the objects and methods by recording macro and learning by trial and error. If so, I don't need this book.

First of all, time is money. I spent money, time to read hundreds of pages. The author suggests you to trial and error. I really don't think it is a very good book. But I still give 3 stars (I am quite geneous!)

Maybe most audiences of this book are never program in his/her life. This may be good for them. For someone who has experiences in programming. It is not very useful.


VBA for Dummies

VBA For Dummies®

4 out of 5 stars Better than fat VBA books, April 13, 1999
  Reviewer: Carol Payne (see more about me) from Bynum, NC USA
I tried using Access 97 Programming Unleashed to learn VBA. I got more out of the smaller VBA for Dummies book than the 850 page Unleased book. I especially liked the way it broke down the parts the VB Editor. This book doesn't try to do a lot of things like fat books do, but sticks to the main topic, VBA. I liked it because it's small and doesn't break my arm when I read it. On the less positive side it had isolated pieces of code that you can't really use without some expertise and it doesn't cover Access very well.
1 out of 5 stars If you already know VB, this book is not for you, August 27, 2002
  Reviewer: Mark Jegi from San Francisco, CA United States
I bought "VBA for Dummies" hoping to bridge my knowledge of VB into the MS applications.

Anyone even a little familiar with using the VB language inside Word or Excel macros knows that the real study is how the internal application commands can be issued through the VB coding structure.

While Cummings knows a good deal about VB, he ultimately recommends that the reader use the Word and Excel help screens to learn how VB uses the application commands.

Unfortunately, a book about VBA needs to be about how to invoke these application commands from within the VB structure. Not going into these is like promising to teach how to cook a spaghetti dinner, and only explaining how to boil water.

If you don't already know VB, then pick up Wallace Wang's "Visual Basic 6 for Windows for Dummies". It gets half the VBA job done.

I'm still waiting for someone to write the other half.


Office XP Development with VBA

Office XP Development with VBA

by Peter G. Aitken (Author)

  • Paperback: 528 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.25 x 8.75 x 7.75
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR; 2nd edition (September 6, 2001)
  • ASIN: 0130654175
  • Sales Rank: 169,443

Peter Aitken is the author of several interesting book on programming including:



Microsoft Outlook Programming,
Jumpstart for Administrators, Developers, and Power Users

Microsoft Outlook Programming, Jumpstart for Administrators, Developers, and Power Users

by Sue Mosher (Author)

person recommended Building Applications with Microsoft Outlook Version 2002 (With CD-ROM) in addition to Microsoft Outlook Programming, Jumpstart for Administrators, Developers, and Power Users

5 out of 5 stars High and Low Level Views, January 20, 2003
  Reviewer: Kim Gorman from Cranford, NJ USA
An excellent high and low level view of programming Outlook 2000/XP. For an experienced programmer, the majority of the chapters get right into the code/objects/events/models you'll need. The code examples are not "toys", but (fortunately) are brief enough to focus on the subject being discussed.
Novice and experienced programmers will appreciate the overview of the VBA environment/language within Outlook.
Reading this book answered specific questions I needed answered about customization, and erased that "where do I start" feeling I had about programming in Outlook. Great book!


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