Excel on iOS: VBA Is Still Missing In Action

I received a question from a reader about the ability to run VBA code in Excel under an iPad.

For those missing the news, Microsoft released fairly recently an iPad App for Office Excel. To answer this question I immediately went to the App Store and installed the App. From a first look, I must say that the App looks comprehensive. One can run (almost) fully functioning Excel worksheets including cells containing functions. The interface is the familiar Excel interface with some mobile adjustments.

One issue is that Microsoft is pushing Office365 subscription in a rather aggressive way. When you open the App you are prompt to connect to you Office365 account. Having an active subscription to Office365 seems to be a mandatory requirement to get a fully functioning Excel on iPad.

On the same prompt page you also have a less highlighted option to skip the login to Office365. If you follow that link you do get access to Excel but it is in a read-only mode for free. Free things are nice!

However, it would have been better to also have an option to purchase a license for Excel on iPad outside of the Office365 subscription. I know how large companies work and the Office365 cloud offering is strategic to Microsoft. But as a consumer this is somewhat not relevant. I want to use Excel on iPad and not necessarily interested in Microsoft’s strategic direction…

Anyway, back to the question. What about VBA in the iPad App?

At least as of today, May 2014, the iOS App does not include VBA support. That might not be a huge limitation to most but it is a very distinctive missing functionality on the mobile version. All what we can do now it to hope Microsoft will continue to evolve that iPad App to include all the missing functionality.



Author: dave

Consider myself kid in soul and naive by choice. I am interested in people, technology and business and thrive when they all work together. My favorite quote and motto is that “You can fool some people some times but you cant fool all the people all the time” ― Bob Marley

2 thoughts on “Excel on iOS: VBA Is Still Missing In Action”

  1. As a VBA developer this is a serious limitation in my opinion and really limits what I can do. VBA could be so much more if only the platform was improved. A small (but huge) step in the right direction would be support for PNG files on userforms. It is extremely hard working with GIFs.

  2. It is now September 2017. I have a subscription to Office 365; and when I open Excel on my iPad and look in the View tab, there is no macro menu item. I’ve looked around a bit and still don’t find it. Am I missing it? Or–three years later–is VBA still not available for Microsoft Office applications running on iOS?

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