Automate in Excel

I just noticed this in Excel after the latest update:

Ah, a new feature.

Anybody tried this out yet? Any tips?

I’ve noticed some of my VBA macros no longer working after a recent update, so I guess I’m going to be forced to use Automate.

I chatted with chatGPT about the feature, and supposedly it can be used w/ Python and other systems, so I’m looking forward to trying this out.

struggling to tell what is being automated

I’m surprised it knew about a recent development in Excel since it often refuses to answer my questions about current events

It looks like Recording a Macro

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I haven’t been afflicted with that change on my work computers.

I just checked Excel on my personal computer. First time I opened it, I didn’t have the Automate ribbon. Closed Excel, then reopened it to check on something in the household budget spreadsheet, and saw it.

Do you have any insight as to how VBA has been neutered? (I may decide to retire early if this means I’m going to have to redo a :poop:load of macros.)

Just took a peek at the “Automate” help file. Javascript? Ick! I though Microsoft was leaning towards adopting python for automation…

is that in any way related to the message when I opened Excel on my iMac for the first time in about 6 days (have been using Excel on iPad regularly since then, and didn’t get the message there).

I wonder if some bug related to those new functions somehow caused the #SPILL! errors I’ve gotten on the IPad in the past couple of days using existing simple text functions like FIND. Probably just user error tho.

My VBA macros are mainly calculations with loops that I choose to do that way, often one time, and fortunately are not work related (or paid work related; some are SOA exam volunteer work related). I will be very upset if I can’t use VBA any more for calculation routines.

yeah, it’s supposed to not know anything past 2019, but there are ways around this supposed ignorance (though one needs to be sneaky to elicit that sometimes).

To be fair, Power Automate (which is related to this thing) has been around in some form since 2016, though under a different name, and Automate has had this name since 2019.

I have a feeling certain topics are a little more up-to-date in chatGPT (like code, etc.) and others aren’t (like politics)

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I will be more explicit in what is not working – I was doing stuff like copying sheets between spreadsheets, and copying over values, manipulating objects, etc. Some things were only half-executing (such as pasting values only – it pasted items as formulas… to do it properly, I suppose I should have copied the values into an array and then put it into the new sheet. I was just being lazy.)

Certain aspects of Excel objects and methods in VBA aren’t behaving “properly” anymore with recent updates. I adjusted some of the code, but it only half-worked. Things were getting copied over, but as formulas, which was causing problems.

The Microsoft folks have always only half-assed VBA and never really liked it, so I see this as a step towards killing it.

Anyway, given the first macro I need is really just copy/pasting specific sheets over to a new notebook, but values only, that seems like a simple thing to try to Automate as a test. Let’s go!


I fear that Microsoft is going to manage to force me to finally push me to rewrite a bunch of stuff in other tools (something I should already have done, but never had the free time to do).

And now I’m looking at it as an opportunity to rethink our processes entirely

and maybe teach other people other tools other than Excel.

The main reason I’ve been stuck in Excel is that I was the only person who knew non-Excel stuff. I need to use stuff other people can also do. I’ve been willing to help/teach but others have not had the incentives to branch out.

(remember: I work primarily with non-actuaries)