Is VBA Scripting or Programming?


Scott Campbell

Is VBA Scripting or Programming?

When it comes to VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), there is often a debate about whether it should be considered scripting or programming. Let’s delve into this topic and explore the characteristics of VBA to determine its classification.

What is VBA?

VBA is a programming language that is derived from Visual Basic. It was developed by Microsoft to extend the functionality of their Office suite of applications, such as Excel, Word, and Access. With VBA, users can automate tasks, create custom functions, and build user interfaces within these applications.

VBA’s Scripting-like Characteristics

VBA shares some similarities with scripting languages:

  • Ease of Use: Like scripting languages, VBA offers a simpler syntax and does not require complex coding structures.
  • Rapid Prototyping: With its ability to quickly write and execute code, VBA allows users to prototype ideas without the need for extensive planning.
  • Interpretation: VBA code is interpreted at runtime rather than being compiled beforehand.

VBA’s Programming-like Characteristics

While VBA may exhibit some scripting-like characteristics, it also possesses key traits found in traditional programming languages:

  • Variables and Data Types: In VBA, you can define variables with specific data types such as strings, integers, or booleans.
  • Control Flow Structures: VBA supports control flow structures like loops (for, while) and conditional statements (if, else).
  • Object-Oriented Approach: VBA embraces an object-oriented programming model, allowing users to work with objects, properties, and methods.


So, is VBA scripting or programming? It can be argued that VBA possesses characteristics of both scripting and programming.

While it may lean towards the scripting side due to its ease of use and interpretive nature, it also incorporates key elements of traditional programming languages like variables, control flow structures, and an object-oriented approach.

Ultimately, the classification of VBA as scripting or programming depends on perspective and context. Regardless of its classification, mastering VBA can empower you to automate tasks and enhance productivity within Microsoft Office applications.

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