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Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)

What is Visual Basic for Applications?

Visual Basic for Applications or VBA for short is a general programming language and development environment specifically designed to customize and extend applications that include the VBA application programming interface (API). It is based on Microsoft Visual Basic but is used by many different applications, including AutoCAD. In AutoCAD, VBA is used to access objects via the ActiveX Automation interface.

The ActiveX Automation interface was first introduced in AutoCAD Release 14, at the same time as Visual LISP and this goes some way to explain why Visual LISP was never really developed any further. VBA has a number of advantages over Visual LISP, including the integrated development of dialog boxes (VBA does not require DCL) and the fact that VBA is a generic language and not specific to AutoCAD.

Not Installed

In recent times, VBA has fallen out of favour with Autodesk, who are now promoting the use of more modern development environments with AutoCAD, specifically VB.NET. Autodesk are currently encouraging developers to migrate from VBA to VB.NET and the Visual Basic Editor was dropped from the AutoCAD 2010 installation although it is still available as a download. For current details of the Autodesk policy on VBA, see this VBA support document.

VBA Tutorials

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VBA Applications

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VBA Tips'n'Tricks