One of the most common mistakes in VBA is using incorrect forms/dialogs for usually simple tasks. The VBA UserForm is one of the most exploited VBA modules I have ever seen (as opposed to VBA Class modules which are underutilized ;)). VBA developers and Excel users seem to think often that every dialog box and form needs to have that personal touch. The effect is often the opposite – with users being confused or experiencing errors with custom UserForms without proper error handling.
Today I want to make it easier for all those VBA users out there.
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.
For one of my older projects I needed a VBA Progress Bar that would show:
The current progress of the computations
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.
'Add 10% progress
'Hide and remove the 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:
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:
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.
'Declare and Initialize the ProgressBar UserForm
'Set the Title for the ProgressBar and the Maximum Value making the UserForm visible
'Use the ProgressBar to track macro execution by running the For loop 100 times