Category Archives: Excel

vba progress bar

Animated VBA progress bar for Excel and Access

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Sometimes there are very large and complex solutions built in Excel (which is a mistake mind you), where calculations or macro executions can take minutes or even hours. This causes many issues, especially for the end users who usually do not know how long processing the calculations/macros will take. In such cases it is important to notify the end users of the progress of your macros/calculations so they can switch to other activities. This is where the VBA Progress bar can aid you.

For one of my older projects I needed a VBA Progress Bar that would show:

  1. The current progress of the computations
  2. How much execution time was left (estimation)

Users especially wanted to know how much execution time was left – whether they should grab a coffee or stay and wait for the macro to finish.

Option 1: Animated VBA Progress Bar UserForm

The easiest approach to animating an Excel is to create a simple UserForm with the use of a label control which width you can manipulate to show the current progress. Easy and straightforward.

Example of how to use the VBA Progress Bar in Excel:

Sub ExampleProgressBar()
    Dim pb As ProgressBar
    Set pb = New ProgressBar
    pb.Initialize "My title", 100
    'Add 10% progress
    pb.AddProgress 10
    '...
    'Hide and remove the Progress Bar
    pb.Hide
    Set pb = Nothing
End Sub

The result:

Advanced VBA Progress Bar
Advanced VBA Progress Bar

Download the Progress UserForm complete with sourcecode here:

Option 2: Animated Worksheet VBA Progress Bar

The UserForm progress bar is very good to use when you don’t want to show too much content or use advanced formatting. However, if you want the Progress Bar GUI to be more attractive I would suggest to go with a Worksheet Progress Bar. This gives you unlimited possibilities of how to make your Progress Bar more visually attractive and allows you to use Charts/Conditional formatting etc. My example below calculates the expected time left to complete a given task based on historical progress (forecasting based on how much time to make certain progress). Pretty cool and useful in my opinion when dealing with long lasting VBA Macros.

Excel VBA Progress Bar
Excel VBA Progress Bar

Below feel free to download a Workbook with the Excel Worksheet ProgressBar VBA:


Now how does it work? The progress bar is located on a separate hidden worksheet which appears only when the progress bar is activated. The estimation of the time left is extrapolated based on the time which elapsed to the current progress and will become more accurate with time – depending on how comparative each increment is.

See the example below of how the progress bar is activated and incremented.

Example of how to use the VBA Progress Bar in Excel:

Sub TestProgressBar()
    'Activate the progress bar - switch to the progress bar worksheet
    Call ActivateProgressBar(ActiveWorkbook, ActiveSheet, 100)
    For i = 1 To 100
        Call AddOneProgress
        DoEvents 
    Next i
    'Deactivate the progress bar - switch to your original worksheet
    Call DeactivateProgressBar(ActiveWorkbook)
End Sub

So simple! Notice also when opening the example file that the update procedure contains the “DoEvents” command. This guarantees that when doing long computations the Excel screen will not freeze but will update and be responsive. The “DoEvents” command is better than using a “Sleep” command as the “Sleep” command does not always work as expected (sometimes freezing Excel) and will unnecessarily extend the time needed to execute the macro. Whereas the “DoEvents” command will only carry out pending Excel events (usually just refreshing the window).

scrape html add-in

Excel Scrape html by element id, name or… any regex!

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Sometimes I have a need to quickly scrape some data from website to be able to work on them and update their values when needed e.g. stock prices, temperature, search results, statistics etc. From time to time I stumble upon similar issues. Below find 2 quick UDF functions (user defined functions) that you can use to scrape html items by id and name. Scrape HTML elements in Excel by ID, name or Regex.

Get element by id

An example of getting an element by ID:

Public Function GetElementById(url As String, id As String)
    Dim XMLHTTP As Object, html As Object, objResult As Object
    Set XMLHTTP = CreateObject("MSXML2.serverXMLHTTP")
    XMLHTTP.Open "GET", url, False
    XMLHTTP.setRequestHeader "Content-Type", "text/xml"
    XMLHTTP.setRequestHeader "User-Agent", "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:25.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/25.0"
    XMLHTTP.send
    Set html = CreateObject("htmlfile")
    html.body.innerHTML = XMLHTTP.ResponseText
    Set objResult = html.GetElementById(id)
    GetElementById = objResult.innerHTML
End Function

Get element by name

An example of getting an element by name.

Public Function GetElementByName(url As String, name As String)
    Dim XMLHTTP As Object, html As Object, objResult As Object
    Set XMLHTTP = CreateObject("MSXML2.serverXMLHTTP")
    XMLHTTP.Open "GET", url, False
    XMLHTTP.setRequestHeader "Content-Type", "text/xml"
    XMLHTTP.setRequestHeader "User-Agent", "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:25.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/25.0"
    XMLHTTP.send
    Set html = CreateObject("htmlfile")
    html.body.innerHTML = XMLHTTP.ResponseText
    Set objResult = html.GetElementByName(name)
    GetElementByName = objResult.innerHTML
End Function

Examples

You can use these functions directly like other Excel functions like this:

But these functions are often not enough to scrape more complicated structured data or require additional cleansing before being able to use the data. I thought therefore of using xpath at first but regular expressions seemed the more obvious solution. So I knocked up this more flexible alternative of the above functions which allows you to use any regex to scrape data of a website:

Get element by regex

An example of scraping an element by regex (regular expression).

Public Function GetElementByRegex(url As String, reg As String)
    Dim XMLHTTP As Object, html As Object, objResult As Object
    Set XMLHTTP = CreateObject("MSXML2.serverXMLHTTP")
    XMLHTTP.Open "GET", url, False
    XMLHTTP.setRequestHeader "Content-Type", "text/xml"
    XMLHTTP.setRequestHeader "User-Agent", "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:25.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/25.0"
    XMLHTTP.send
    Set html = CreateObject("htmlfile")
    html.body.innerHTML = XMLHTTP.ResponseText
    Set regEx = CreateObject("VBScript.RegExp")
    regEx.Pattern = reg
    regEx.Global = True
    If regEx.Test(XMLHTTP.ResponseText) Then
        Set matches = regEx.Execute(XMLHTTP.ResponseText)
        GetElementByRegex = matches(0).SubMatches(0)
        Exit Function
    End If
    GetElementByRegex = ""
End Function

Need an example? Here is one.

Let us say we want to scrape the latest headline off the cnn website:

scrape: cnn
CNN

Try this regex then:

=GetElementByRegex("http://edition.cnn.com/";"<h2 data-analytics=""_list-hierarchical-xs_article_"" class=""banner-text banner-text--natural""><strong>(.*?)</strong></h2>")

The result:

scrape
Regex

What did I do? I looked at the HTML of the Cnn website and notice the following HTML:

<h2 data-analytics="_list-hierarchical-xs_article_" class="banner-text banner-text--natural"><strong>
Why these girls fear the summer
</strong></h2>

As this piece of HTML is quite unique in the whole HTML content we can simply replace the header between the strong tags with the following regex (.*?). This will extract any string of characters between these tags which are not end of line characters.

Simple? Yes. If you want to play around with this I recommend you read more on using regular expressions e.g. on stackoverflow.

map

Excel Google Charts Tool

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I always wanted to utilize the beautiful and interactive Google Charts in Excel. The Google Charts repository is constantly growing and sometimes Excel lacks those features. Hence I introduce the Excel Google Charts Tool to display a way to leverage some of those Google Charts directly in Excel.

The WebBrowser control is no longer supported by Office 2013 and above, hence this functionality might not work by default in those versions of Office

The Excel Google Charts Tool contains example Google Charts embedded inside an Excel xlsm file allowing you to visualize data in a more attractive way and enabling more user interaction.

Excel Google Charts: Gauge Chart

Gauge charts are extremely useful to highlight important values in reports. You can also visualize the good and bad ranges of values e.g. orange and red for too high values. These however, can be easily configured. I

Excel VBA Gauge Chart
Excel VBA Gauge Chart

How to configure a Gauge Chart?

Google Chart: Gauge Chart

Excel Google Charts: Treemap Chart

Treemaps can be particularly useful when you want to drill-down data values e.g. used disk space and drill-down across folders. Google Treemaps have 2 values which you can visualize – the area of the treemap and the color.

Excel VBA Treemap Chart
Excel VBA Treemap Chart

How to configure a Treemap Chart?

Google Charts: Treemap Chart

Excel Google Charts: Org Chart

Excel VBA Orgchart
Excel VBA Orgchart

How to configure a Org Chart?

Org Charts come in handy when you want to visualize the tree/organisational structure.
Google Charts: Org Chart

Excel Google Charts: Geo Chart

I would say – one of the most useful charts when playing with geo-data. Using the Geo Chart you can easily visualize how your data is broken down across countries. You can zoom in the Geo Chart just to show a single continent, country or region.

Excel VBA Geochart
Excel VBA Geochart

How to configure a Geo Chart?

Google Charts: Geo Chart

Download

The file below contains all examples of Google Charts used in the Excel Google Charts Tool.


Currently the Google Chart Tool contains examples of the following Google Charts:

Issues and errors

One issue you might stumble on when using the above Google Charts may be due to recent scriptable control restrictions imposed by Microsoft. Due to these in Excel 2013 and above Excel will restrict (by default) the use of some controls e.g. Microsoft Web Browser Control – which is required to run the above Google Charts. There is a way around that so utilize the link above to read more.

SQL in VBA

Using SQL in VBA on Excel. Run SELECT Queries from VBA

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Many times I was irritated of the lack of some Excel functionality (or just I don’t know there is) to easily transform data w/o using pivot tables. SQL in VBA was the only thing that was missing for me.

Distinct, grouping rows of Excel data, running multiple selects etc.
Some time agon when I had a moment of time to spare I did my homework on the topic only to discover that running SQL queries from Excel VBA is possible and easy…

Using SQL in VBA example

sql in excel
An Excel Worksheet and the Output of the RunSELECT Macro
Let see how to run a simple SELECT SQL Query in Excel VBA on an example Excel Worksheet. On the right see my Excel Worksheet and the Message Box with the similar output from my VBA Macro. The VBA Code is below:

Explaining the Code

So what is happening in the macro above? Let us break it down:

Connecting to the Data Source

First we need to connect via the ADODB Driver to our Excel Worksheet. This is the same Driver which runs SQL Queries on MS Access Databases:

The Provider is the Drive which is responsible for running the query.

The ConnectionStrings defines the Connection properties, like the path to the Queries File (example above is for ThisWorkbook) or if the first row contains a header (HDR).

The Open command executes the connection.

You can find more information on the ADODB.Connection Object on MSDN.

Looking for other Connection Strings to XLS or Access files? Check out ConnectionStrings.com. Here are some examples:

Running the SQL Select Query

Having connected to our Data Source Excel Worksheet we can now run a SQL SELECT Query:

So what happens here? First we run the Execute command with our SELECT query:

What does it do? It indicates that our records are in Sheet1. We can obviously extend this query just to filter people above the age of 30:

This would be the result:

sql in excel - above 30
SELECT * FROM [Sheet1$] WHERE Age > 30

The Execute command returns a ADODB RecordSet. We need to loop through the recordset to get each record:

Clean up

Lastly we need to Clean up our Objects to free memory. This is actually quite an important step as if you VBA code is runs a lot of queries or computations you might see a slow-down soon enough!

What Else Can I Do?

You can do tons of great things with ADODB / MS Queries / SQL in Excel. Here are some additional ideas:

  • Run Queries Across Worksheets – you can run JOIN queries on multiple Excel Worksheets. E.g.

    On the below tables:
    sql in excel example
    Running SELECT with JOIN on 2 Worksheets
  • Extracting Data from External Data Sources – use different connection strings to connect to Access Databases, CSV files or text files
  • Do more efficient LOOKUPs – read my post on VLOOKUP vs SQL to learn more
google translate

Excel Google Translate functionality

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Translations are not a fascinating task for me. I once received a request to help out a colleague in translating an Excel file to English. Copy to Google Translate, translate, copy back to Excel and again… After going through part of the file we quickly extrapolated that the whole translation would take at least a whole day if done in this manner. I had to optimize this process as much as possible.

That’s when I thought of leveraging Google Translate to help with my localization efforts. Why translate stuff manually when we can put Excel to do the job for you.

Excel Google Translate Code

Find below a quickly written VBA procedure that adds a shortcut to Excel to quickly translate any cell from one language to another. The below is a simple procedure you can easily pin to your Excel shortcuts (e.g. CTRL+K or similar). Simply select a certain Excel range and execute the TranslateCell procedure below.

Looking to translate an Excel or Word document? Why not use my Word / Excel Translator AddIns?
Sub TranslateCell()
    Dim getParam As String, trans As String, translateFrom As String, translateTo As String
    translateFrom = "fr"
    translateTo = "en"
    Set objHTTP = CreateObject("MSXML2.ServerXMLHTTP")
    getParam = ConvertToGet(ActiveCell.Value)
    URL = "https://translate.google.pl/m?hl=" & translateFrom & "&sl=" & translateFrom & "&tl=" & translateTo & "&ie=UTF-8&prev=_m&q=" & getParam
    objHTTP.Open "GET", URL, False
    objHTTP.setRequestHeader "User-Agent", "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0)"
    objHTTP.send ("")
    If InStr(objHTTP.responseText, "div dir=""ltr""") > 0 Then
        trans = RegexExecute(objHTTP.responseText, "div[^""]*?""ltr"".*?>(.+?)</div>")
        ActiveCell.Value = Clean(trans)
    Else
        MsgBox ("Error")
    End If
End Sub

'----Used functions----
Function ConvertToGet(val As String)
    val = Replace(val, " ", "+")
    val = Replace(val, vbNewLine, "+")
    val = Replace(val, "(", "%28")
    val = Replace(val, ")", "%29")
    ConvertToGet = val
End Function
Function Clean(val As String)
    val = Replace(val, "&quot;", """")
    val = Replace(val, "%2C", ",")
    val = Replace(val, "&#39;", "'")
    Clean = val
End Function
Public Function RegexExecute(str As String, reg As String, _
                             Optional matchIndex As Long, _
                             Optional subMatchIndex As Long) As String
    On Error GoTo ErrHandl
    Set regex = CreateObject("VBScript.RegExp"): regex.Pattern = reg
    regex.Global = Not (matchIndex = 0 And subMatchIndex = 0) 'For efficiency
    If regex.Test(str) Then
        Set matches = regex.Execute(str)
        RegexExecute = matches(matchIndex).SubMatches(subMatchIndex)
        Exit Function
    End If
ErrHandl:
    RegexExecute = CVErr(xlErrValue)
End Function

How to setup Google Translate code in Excel?

    • Go to the DEVELOPER ribbon and add select Visual Basic a and new Module to your VBA Project
      insert macro
    • Insert the code from sections above (notice that the function is “Public” – therefore will be visible in your workbook as a so called UDF (User Defined Function) add macro
    • Go to the worksheet and input the function as shown above
    • Modify the translateFrom and translateTo languages in the function to change the translation e.g. change “pl” to “de” to change the translation from Polish to German.

Here you can find the full list of language 2 letter codes.

  • In the Excel Developer ribbon open Macros
  • Select the TranslateCell sub and go to Options
  • Add a shortcut: e.g. CTRL+SHIFT+T

How to use it?

  • Select any cell in Excel and click the configured shortcut e.g. CTRL+SHIFT+T

What if I want an UDF?

The procedure above can easily be converted to a User Defined Function (UDF) instead, allowing you to use it as a formula. Be sure to copy the required supporting functions (from the sections above) ConvertToGet, Clean and RegexExecute.

VBA UDF Google Translate

Public Function Translate(rng As Range, Optional translateFrom As String = "nl", Optional translateTo As String = "en")
    Dim getParam As String, trans As String, objHTTP As Object, URL As String
    Set objHTTP = CreateObject("MSXML2.ServerXMLHTTP")
    getParam = ConvertToGet(rng.Value)
    URL = "https://translate.google.pl/m?hl=" & translateFrom & "&sl=" & translateFrom & "&tl=" & translateTo & "&ie=UTF-8&prev=_m&q=" & getParam
    objHTTP.Open "GET", URL, False
    objHTTP.setRequestHeader "User-Agent", "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0)"
    objHTTP.send ("")
    If InStr(objHTTP.responseText, "div dir=""ltr""") > 0 Then
        trans = RegexExecute(objHTTP.responseText, "div[^""]*?""ltr"".*?>(.+?)</div>

")
        Translate = Clean(trans)
    Else
        Translate = CVErr(xlErrValue)
    End If
End Function

 

 

 

How to use the Translate UDF?

See an example below of how to translate text in cell A1 from French (fr) to English (en):

=TRANSLATE("A1","fr","en")

What if I want it to run on all selected cells?

Here is a modification of the function above to run on ALL selected cells:

Sub TranslateCell()
    Dim getParam As String, trans As String, translateFrom As String, translateTo As String
    translateFrom = "pl"
    translateTo = "en"
    Set objHTTP = CreateObject("MSXML2.ServerXMLHTTP")
    Dim r As Range, cell As Range
    Set cell = Selection
    For Each cell In Selection.Cells
        getParam = ConvertToGet(cell.Value)
        URL = "https://translate.google.pl/m?hl=" & translateFrom & "&sl=" & translateFrom & "&tl=" & translateTo & "&ie=UTF-8&prev=_m&q=" & getParam
        objHTTP.Open "GET", URL, False
        objHTTP.setRequestHeader "User-Agent", "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0)"
        objHTTP.send ("")
        If InStr(objHTTP.responseText, "div dir=""ltr""") > 0 Then
            trans = RegexExecute(objHTTP.responseText, "div[^""]*?""ltr"".*?>(.+?)</div>")
            cell.Value = Clean(trans)
        Else
            MsgBox ("Error")
        End If
    Next cell
End Sub