Difference between VB and VBA


VB abbreviated from Visual Basic and VBA known as Visual Basic for Applications, have both originated from Basic. In this
way, they share fundamental similarity. Visual Basic got popularity as a third generation that supports an integrated
development environment introduced by the leading software company, Microsoft. From user point of view, Visual Basic is
considered one of the relatively ‘easy to learn and use’ languages for beginners, because it enables the RAD of graphical
user interface applications, provides access to databases using data access objects and supports the creation of ActiveX
controls and objects. Later on, it consequently has been changed to a .NET platform version. Visual Basic for Applications
is placed in many Microsoft application packages and also in third party products. The examples include Microsoft Office,
SolidWorks, ArcGIS, AutoCAD, Sage Accpac ERP, WordPerfect Office 2002, etc.

Visual Basic not only allows programmers to design simple graphical user interface, but can also design the applications
that are complex in nature like executable files and applications. Programming in Visual Basic is all about arranging the
sets of components and controls or coding the programming statements, to perform more additional and complex functions. In
Visual Basic for Application, code is written to execute the proprietary intermediate language, based on P-code, also known
as packed code. This coding scheme is represented as hosting applications like Access, Excel, Word and PowerPoint and saved
in COM Structured Storage files.

Visual Basic makes it mandatory for a user to create the application instances to manipulate one or more of the Office
application objects. In contrast, Visual Basic for Applications, that is a subset of VB, executes its instructions inside
one of the office applications. So by default it inherits the current Office object library and application instance.

Visual Basic and Visual Basic for Applications, both have the same syntax, however with VB you can create actual executable
programs which can be installed and are operatable from the Start menu. For this purpose, the user must have VB runtime
files on his computer. VBA cannot compile the executable binary file/programs. Although Visual Basic for Applications is
functionally rich and exceptionally flexible, it has limitations in terms of little support for function pointers. Thus a VB
program will be quicker than the corresponding VBA program.


  • The main difference is that VB can make stand-alone executables whereas VBA is primarily deal with programming in Office Application such as Word, Excel, and Outlook etc.
  • VB is fully compiled but in contrast VBA is partially compiled and requires an interpreter to execute.
  • Visual basic has wide scope because it is represented as a standalone application.
  • User is aided with a tight integration of the host application in Visual Basic for Application.
  • VB programs are considered quick in response to VBA because VBA provides limited support and consume much time to callback functions in the Windows API.

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Read more: Difference Between VB and VBA | Difference Between | VB vs VBA

2 thoughts on “Difference between VB and VBA

  1. Pingback: Visual Basic .NET 2010 Express – A “From the Ground Up” Tutorial « Visual Basic

  2. Pingback: QP: Visual Basic | iiteeeestudents

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