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Thread: VB/VBA Training

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    VB/VBA Training

    This is probably a silly question for all you old hands out there ... but I'm a newbie to VB/VBA so ....

    I'm looking at doing a course on either VB or VBA.

    We are currently in the process of upgrading (if you can call it that) from WordPerfect to Word 2000.

    I want to be able to customise (sorrythe environment so that users are not quite as flummoxed by the changes, and so that I don't have to spend all day every day fixing other people's mistakes (not that I don't do that now ....).

    However, all that is beside the point. The real question is .....

    Should I do a course in VB or should I do a course in VBA?

    Any helpful comments would be appreciated.

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    Re: VB/VBA Training

    Trish,

    It might depend on how much programming experience you have. It may also depend on the availability of courses.

    For what you want, I'd be inclined towards VBA- but they're few and far between. I recently looked for such a course in Canberra for a colleague. I knew that the Microsoft Certified people (there are a number around) do VBA courses- but when I contacted one, they did not know of any such courses. When I pointed them at their own website with a description of the VBA course, I was told they would only offer it if they could get a quorum- and that was extremely unlikely. I imagine Brisbane will not be much better.

    A VB course may give you better basics if you have no background in programming- but it won't tell you anything about how to interact with Word- and that's a very important part of what you're going to do.

    One option may be a self-paced course. The Microsoft training material for the course is quite good, and can be studied as a self-contained unit without going on a course. You can buy it- we bought our material from Angus & Robertson via the web. You obviously have to be more self-disciplined than going on a course- I find that difficult; you obviously also miss out on the free meals.

    I hope that helps a little.
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

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    Re: VB/VBA Training

    Here's a link to a "VBA for MS Office" course on CD from AppDev. (I did this course last year and can recommend it.)
    It's pretty rigorous in teaching VBA from a programmer's perspective, more so perhaps than some of the books which focus on VBA for Word or Excel etc.
    The drawback might be that it doesn't focus enough on Word specifically.

    Unfortunately there is no one place where you can get all the Word/VBA know-how you might need. My approach has been to buy all the books and read them; each one had strong and weak areas - that and just learning by doing real work, over time.

    If you're responsible for designing a customized Word environment that you and others at your firm are going to have to live with, that may be a bit more than you want to bite off as a beginner - there may also be issues relating to conversion from WP to Word that you may need help with too.

    I'd consider finding a qualified person in your area, who can help you set up the new environment. It will cost your firm some more $$, but you'll end up with a better setup and it will accelerate your know-how as well.
    Just my opinion.... in either case good luck and have fun!

    Gary

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    Re: VB/VBA Training

    Thanks Geoff,

    I don't have much experience with programming in Word (have done a 1 day (big deal) course in VBA).

    The Microsoft Certified Training Provider that I am looking at going through offers courses in VB and also offers self paced learning materials.

    They also offer an introduction to VBA Course (for Word) (2 days).

    However, since it won't just be Word that I am working with (also Excel and PowerPoint), wouldn't I be better doing a VB course?

    Many thanks for your prompt reply.

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    Re: VB/VBA Training

    Thanks Gary,

    I currently have a copy of the Office 2000 Developer's Set and the Microsoft Word 2000 Bible.

    I must admit it is pretty hard going, but I have post-it notes everywhere through both books.

    I have a provider who is helping with the "whole shebang", but I really want to be able to understand the programmers when I go there to advise my requirements for the customisation of Word.

    I will also need to be able to amend/write macros myself as the need arises.

    Besides, I want the piece of paper with my name on it! (Don't we all love those little pieces of paper!?!).

    Many thanks for your input.

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    Re: VB/VBA Training

    A course in VB will teach you how to program VB, not how to program VBA in any of the Office applications. Each application engine has its own particular objects, methods and properties, so there isn't any single course that will teach you how to program the specifics in all of them all at once. If you know the basics of how to program in Word, you can easily pick up Excel, Power Point, etc., once you learn their object models. You'll have more trouble with Outlook and Access, although I think Access is the closest to VB itself, since VB uses the Jet engine for its database applications. I'd recommend the quickie courses in the individual applications to get you familiar with their object models. You can pick up the rest as you go along.
    Charlotte

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    Re: VB/VBA Training

    Thanks Charlotte,

    Your input is greatly appreciated.

    I may just do the VBA for Word course after all.

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    Re: VB/VBA Training

    Trish,

    If they have the course, go for it. It didn't take me too long to become productive in VBA for Excel after being quite familiar with Word.

    However, just to clear up something. VBA applies to Word, Excel, Access and other Office applications. VB is a standalone language which you might use to build an application which is independent from any Office product. So if you want to learn about programming for Excel etc, a VBA Course may well help you- you don't need VB. But if you then want to go for VB, you already have most of the fundamentals.

    I think that you could convice your employer that they don't offer those courses in Brisbane- the closest course available to you is in Hawaii. Well, he might believe Sydney. Have a go, anyway.
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

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    Re: VB/VBA Training

    Take a look at the MS Press Step by Step Series. They have a book on Word VBA and another focused on Excel. I found them very useful to getting started.
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/DougKlippert_sig.jpg>

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    Re: VB/VBA Training

    VBA is more preferable if you plan on working with existing applications, such as Word etc... while VB is aimed at those that want to develop applications...and as the others have pointed out, it does nothing in helping you with existing applications such as Word.

    While a course in VB would show you how it all works, it is primarily designed for those who already know some type of coding.

    VBA will teach you the basics of this and the learning curve is much lower. Plus any course designed specifically for one application is probably more suited for your needs.

    I know this because I took a course for VB when all I really needed was VBA. It helped alot, but the drop-off was quick and steep.
    Hope that helps you decide...[img]/w3timages/icons/thinks.gif[/img]

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    Re: VB/VBA Training

    To everyone that answered my post - thank you very much.

    I have decided that I will do a VBA course for Word and am going to follow it up with an Introduction to Programming. I may then go on to do a comprehensive VB course.

    Many thanks again for everyone's input.

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    Re: VB/VBA Training

    Hi Trish,

    I have struggled through learning VBA (from books and with a lot of help from these forums), and have also done a VB short course.

    What everyone else has said here has merit and for my two cents worth I would suggest the following:

    1 - Become an expert user in Word before you worry too much about learning VBA - many things are simple features in Word that you don't need to be able to write macros for.

    2 - Train your staff - take it slowly but start them all from scratch. Try to get them to be enthusiastic about the change (not always possible!) They don't have to become expert users but the more knowledge they have the easier it is for all concerned. I wouldn't go as far as teaching them VBA, but as much general Word stuff as you can, and specific features of Word for their particular work-place needs/projects.

    3 - Try some of the self-paced learning tools/books around for VBA.

    4 - If you can find a course in VBA for Word let the rest of us know (I'm in NZ and wouldn't mind travelling!) and attend yourself.

    5 - Keep an eye on this forum and the Word one.

    6 - Look through all the archives of WOW to read the Word of Law - important reading for any organisation using Word and great to have that knowledge BEFORE you start trying to convert your documents.

    7 - Considering getting professional help (sounds like I'm suggesting psycho-analysis doesn't it?) Getting someone else to setup templates, work with your network people, train your staff can be a great investment. Then get this person to train you in how to maintain and create in VBA yourself.

    8 - Be prepared to keep on learning ... on and on and on ...

    There are a number of pitfalls to watch when converting WP files to Word, depending on how well the documents were set up in WordPerfect, and the version of WordPerfect you are migrating from.

    There are also issues with how you set your templates up, particular when a network is concerned, some of the default options in Word are better turned off (autoformat as you type: define styles is a big problem so we always turn it of).

    This is what I do day in day out for many different organisations, as do many of the other people contributing to these forums, so don't be afraid to ask for help!

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    Re: VB/VBA Training

    I've found this book very helpful. (MS Office VBA Fundamentals Step by Step - Microsoft).

    Before you start doing to much on VBA, though, be sure that you really understand Word. If you try to use Word as if it were Word Perfect you (and your office) are going to be in for a very painful experience!

    There is excellent material on the Microsoft MVP site.

    Some recommended on-web reading:
    Everything on the two sites listed in my signature! (Even if you have nothing to do with a legal environment.)

    Word's Numbering Explained
    http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/Numbering/Wo...ngExplained.htm

    How to Create a Template, 2
    http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/Customizatio...mplatePart2.htm

    http://www.addbalance.com/word/masterdocuments.htm

    http://www.addbalance.com/word/wordperfect.htm

    http://www.addbalance.com/usersguide/templates.htm

    http://www.addbalance.com/usersguide/styles.htm
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Re: VB/VBA Training

    You may want to start reading posts in VBA forum that start with "Code:" in the subject line. You'll get a daily tutorial, one procedure per day plus electron-TONS of discussion on various aspects of programming.

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