Q&A: is Visual Basic returning to Office:Mac?

My post about questions we got at Macworld 2010 raised some questions, one of which was this one:

The biggest question in my mind is: will Office 2011 support visual basic for excel?

Yes. We announced in 2008 that Visual Basic for Applications will return to the next version of Office (you can read the blog post about it here: saying hello (again) to Visual Basic). And it's still true: Office:Mac 2011 will support VBA.

We're bringing the latest and greatest version of VBA to the Mac, which is 6.5. We'll still continue to support AppleScript and Automator for your Mac-only scripting needs, and we'll also support VBA for your cross-platform scripting needs.

For those of you who are interested in getting started with writing Office scripts with AppleScript, I have to recommend Mactech magazine's VBA to AppleScript transition guide. It's 150+ pages of AppleScript goodness, and I've only heard awesome things about it.

Comments (11)

  1. Darren says:

    Good news. I’m sat on my tiny netbook trying to do some excel VBA development now, but I’d rather be doing it upstairs on my nice big iMac.

    When is Office 2011 due then….!?

  2. We’ll release Office 2011 in time for your holiday shopping pleasure later this year.  🙂

  3. Giancarlo says:

    Will be there an update program for existing 2008 users?


  4. We haven’t released pricing details or upgrade options yet.  Those are marketing decisions and not technical ones, so I don’t know anything about what goes into that decision-making process.

  5. sizain says:


    is Arabic and Hebrew language coming to MAC:Office 2011

  6. We haven’t yet announced the languages that will be supported in Office:Mac 2011.

  7. ltcommander.data says:

    "We’re bringing the latest and greatest version of VBA to the Mac, which is 6.5."

    I’m curious why you call VBA 6.5 the latest version of VBA when I’ve read that VBA 7 has been announced and is coming in Office 2010? Admittedly, I’m unclear if VBA 7 brings anything new to the table over VBA 6.5 other than 64-bit support. Can we imply that Office 2011 won’t have 64-bit support unlike Office 2010 on Windows seeing that VBA is only going up to version 6.5?

    In any case, given that previous VBA support in Office for Mac was I believe something like VBA 5 level, a well implemented comprehensive upgrade to VBA 6.5 is most appreciated. Will VBA 6.5 support be implemented across the entire Office 2011 suite in Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and the new Outlook? Hopefully VBA 6.5 in Mac will be as fully featured as the Windows version.

  8. John says:

    Will Outlook:Mac be in the Home and Student Edition? (I hope but I don’t think so).

    By the way, how many Office 2011 SKU’s (stock- keeping units) or editions will be there?

    (Auto-reply: We haven’t yet announced the editions of Office:Mac 2011)


  9. John says:

    I forgot to ask, I noticed from the beta and later I’ve read it on a website that Office 2010 for Windows will use VBA version 7.0, not 6.5 as you said that version (6.5) will be included in Office 2011 for Mac.

    Any differences? Will you include version 7.0 instead of 6.5 and if not, why?

    Thank you!

    If Office 2011 is not yet finalized, update its components, you’re still in time.


  10. We started the VB work quite some time ago.  We started planning to bring VB into what is now Office:Mac 2011 long before we started coding on it.  At that time, VBA 6.5 was the most stable release, and the dates for VBA 7 were unclear.  Today, 6.5 is still the most recent shipping version, and we’ll support that.  I don’t have anything to share yet with regards to future versions of VBA.

    About SKUs – your auto-reply is right. 🙂  I’ll add in the extra detail that SKU decisions are marketing decisions, not technical ones, which means that it’s far outside my domain of expertise (and, to be honest, far outside my area of interest too :).  

  11. Alan S. says:

    So VBA will finally be back but will we be able to write VBA macros for Word, Excel and Outlook ?

    On Windows, we can write add-ins to extend Outlook. What is the compatibilty between Windows and Mac OS X for COM add-ins ?

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