Automate your repetitive tasks in Excel without VBA macros

As a frequent Excel user, you probably have some daily routine operations. In this case Excel macros helps record the sequence of the user’s actions as a VBA script. This approach is ideal for automating uncomplicated operations. For more sophisticated tasks, users with programming skills can create a VBA project.

The Automation add-in offers a completely new approach to automation of Excel routines:

  • Write commands in a simple Excel table instead of bulky VBA modules
  • Automate even complex and multistep operations
  • Automate XLTools operations: SQL Queries, Export to CSV, Unpivot Table, etc.
  • Create your own custom buttons on the toolbar
  • For advanced users and developers

You do not have to be a VBA-guru. If some of your business processes in Excel take too much time, our XLTools team will help you automate them!

How to automate operations in Excel without VBA [Download Tutorial]

Excel VBA macros often grow into hundreds lines of script, very inconvenient to work with. XLTools Automation add-in allows you to write commands in simple and concise Excel tables. Table display is more informative, visual and easier to edit. You can also assign an automation command to a custom button on the ribbon.

The Automation add-in is a universal tool to automate virtually any command and their sequences:

  • Automate SQL Queries against Excel tables: SELECT, GROUP BY, JOIN ON, etc.
  • Automatically unpivot a crosstab table to a flat list
  • Automatically export an Excel table to a CSV file
  • Automatically extract data from other Excel or CSV files
  • Automate table filtering, etc.

Here is how you create an automation command in Excel table:

XLTools.SQLSelect– type the name of the command exactly; place it in two merged cells.

SQLQuery:Write the query as you normally would.
ApplyTableName:Type the name for the resulting table.
OutputTo:Specify where to place the result.
Tip:instead of manually typing the query, use the intuitiveSQL Queries editorand then copy-paste the script to automation table.
Note:in order for Automation or SQL add-ins to identify references, do not use spaces in the names of worksheets, workbooks, or tables.

We have prepared a Tutorial file with examples, syntax, code and line-by-line transcripts.

Simply write a command using the Tutorial ClickExecute Commands Done!

Example: how to automate an SQL query against Excel tables

Let’s take an example of a retail store. Suppose you have to prepare a quarterly sales report. One option is to use theSQL Queriesadd-in and run a query against your Excel data. But if you have to prepare similar reports regularly, you can automate this SQL query.

  1. Prepare you primary data for SQL query. Format it as a named table, otherwise SQL query will not be able to process data:

    • Select the range "Historical Product Price List and Sales".
    • On the Home tab clickFormat as Table Apply a table style.
    • On the Design tab, type the table name "Sales2014".
    Format range as table before SQL Queries Automation
  2. Add a new worksheet, e.g. “AutoCommands”, and write the SQL automation command.
    XLTools Automation: Execute SQL Query
  3. Execute the SQL automation command:

    • Select the commands table Click theExecute Commandsbutton on XLTools tab.
    • Done, the result is generated immediately.

    After the command is executed, the query result will be generated in table format. If necessary, you can address this table in further queries.

    In this example, the SQL query has extracted sales data for 3rd Quarter 2014.

    XLTools Automation: SQL Query Output
  4. Add your own buttons to Excel ribbon.

    In each Excel workbook you can create up to 3 custom buttons assigned to your own automation commands:

    • ClickAdd Custom buttonson XLTools tab.
    • Name the button, e.g. "Generate Q Reports" Validate the range of the commands table.
    • Click Save The custom button will appear on XLTools tab.

    Now, you can easily create a quarterly report in just one button click – literally!
    XLTools Automation: How to add custom buttons to Excel
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