Tag Archives: progress bar

VBA Status Bar, Progress Bar, Sounds and Emails – Alerts in VBA

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Some VBA Macros run for ages – be it minutes or even hours. If we optimized our VBA Macro to the fullest there is often not much more you can do to change that. Usually what is irritating is waiting for VBA Macro code completion. Sitting by your desk is a waste of time – why not tell Excel/Access to let you know when the code has completed? Today we will explore such tools as the VBA Status Bar, VBA Progress Bar, Sound Notifications in VBA and Sending Email Alerts from VBA.

VBA Progress Bar

vba progress barProgress Bars are ubiquitous anywhere anything takes more than a couple of seconds to complete. So why doesn’t VBA have a native Progress Bar – beats me.

To add a VBA Progress Bar to your Visual Basic for Applications macro read my post here.

Excel Status Bar

vba status barThe VBA Status Bar is a panel that appears at the bottom of your Excel (or Access) Workbook. It is basically a Text Box to which you can display any non-blocking (non-modal) Message to your users.

Showing a Message in the VBA Status Bar

To show a message in the VBA Status Bar we need to Enable it using Application.DisplayStatusBar:

Hiding the VBA Status Bar

The VBA Status Bar when displayed, will remain displayed until ordered otherwise. It is best to hide and clean it after code execution completion:

Sound Notifications in VBA

What if you are away from your Screen, getting a Coffee or simply chatting with a colleague or getting on with our tasks stressed that we might miss that moment when our VBA Macro completes its task. Well why not introduce a Sound Notification? Let Excel or Access run a Sound to inform you that your Visual Basic for Applications macro has finally completed.

Playing a Sound in VBA

Playing a Sound in VBA is easy. Just add the below code snippet to a VBA Module:

It will play the Chimes.wav sound Once.

What if you don’t hear it? Running it once might obviously be not enough…

VBA Sound Alarm

The best approach is to create a VBA Sound Alarm that will run in a loop until we Turn it Off manually. What we will need is a Non-Modal UserForm as a pop-up to ask to stop the alarm.

First the macro code:

What happens here?:

  • I am measuring the execution time with the startTime and execTime variables
  • I am using the stopPlaying global VBA Variable to Turn Off the Alarm from our Alarm UserForm changes this value to True
  • I am displaying the AlarmForm with the Turn Off Alarm button

And now our AlarmForm code:

The result:
turn off vba sound notification

VBA Send Email Notification

Lastly when we are on the run and leaving our Workstation to process our VBA Macro remotely we might appreciate an email from Excel saying: Hey there! I just completed running the Macro!

You can find the code for the SendEmailFromOutlook function in my post here.

We might want to spice things up with maybe sending also the time it took to complete the macro:

Cool right? Makes the VBA Message Box hide in shame doesn’t it? The email should look like this:

vba email notification
VBA Email Notification

Animated VBA Progress Bar for Excel and Access

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A VBA Progress Bar can be used to manage your users anxiety about the execution time of your VBA Macro. 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.
VBA Progress Bar example
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. Calculating this is best done by approximating the time it took to run

Animated VBA Progress Bar Example

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

The result:

vba progress bar
Automated VBA Progress Bar

Create your VBA Progress Bar

Below find a quick tutorial of how to create your own VBA Progress Bar User Form!

Create a customer User Form

First you need to create a customer VBA User Form. Click on the link in case you want a tutorial on how to create these.

It is best to rename your UserForm e.g. to ProgressBar. Next add 3 VBA Labels to the User Form and change some selected properties per the image below:
VBA Progress Bar User Form

Copy the VBA Progress Bar Source Code

Now we need the logic that will allow you to configure and run the Progress Bar. Right click on your new User Form and click View Code. Next copy past the code below:

Configure and Run

Now a quick explanation of the VBA Functions defined above:

  • Initialize (title As String, Optional max As Long = 100)– needs to be run first. Initializes the variables needed to run the Progress Bar and allows you to set the title of the User Form and the max i.e. maximum % progress. By default max is set to 100 but you can change this e.g. you want to process 200 files then set it to 200
  • AddProgress (Optional inc As Long = 1) – add inc incrementally to the amount of total progress. Assuming if you want to process 200 files and set the max value in Initialize and you processed 3 files then run AddProgress with inc equal to 3. When you process another 4 files then run AddProgress with inc equal to 4.

Now that we know the functions needed to run the Progress Bar let us configure and run your Animated Progress Bar in Excel. I added step by step comments to the example code snippet above.

I hope this was helpful. Managing the expectations of you users is key to creating effective automations in Excel VBA. Be sure to also check out ways to enhance the performance of your VBA Macros.

Download VBA Progress Bar

The VBA Progress Bar is part of the VBA Time Saver Kit. Feel free to download the full kit using the link below: