Excel Worksheet Functions and VBA Functions

Struggling to Excel

Many excel users might not be aware of the subtle distinction between Excel Worksheet functions and VBA functions. Majority of Excel’s capability is constructed using Visual Basics for Applications (VBA). VBA is a programming language that contains a fairly rich set of built in Functions; lets call these functions VBA Functions. Using the aforementioned VBA Functions, developers of Excel meticulously create hundreds of functions for their software, that could be keyed into the Formula Bar. These functions are called Excel Functions or Worksheet functions.

VBA functions cannot be accessed from Excel’s Formula Bar. However, some basic Excel Functions and VBA functions have the exact same name and construction; and when used in the Formula Bar, the user is essentially calling the excel function and not the VBA function. Surprisingly, there are some Functions that are available in the VBA, that were not adopted by Excel. However, a VBA function could be accessed from Excel, by wrapping it in a user defined function (UDF).


  1. A very famous example is the StrReverse() function. . Click here to see how to import StrReverse() into Excel. 
  2. Another classic example is the Split() function. Click here to see how you can use this function to get the Nth word in a string.

Similarly, Excel functions cannot be used in Visual Basics directly. Fortunately, they can be accessed from the WorksheetFunction object, retrieved by the WorksheetFunction property of the Application (Excel) object. Click here to read more about using Application.WorksheetFunction.

Published by Ejaz

I specialized in actuarial science in my masters’ program and I am determined to become a qualified actuary. I invest extra time and effort into creating intuitive spreadsheet applications that improve productivity at the workplace. I also enjoy spending my leisure time creating digital art; I publish my designs on my art in this blog named Designecdotes. Most of the people who have dramatically influenced my life were enthusiastic academicians. I believe that the greatest gift in life is having a nurturing mentor, and I would like to be that for someone. I owe it to my future mentees to be the best at what I do, and I consciously direct my endeavors at gathering what I consider essential traits of a seasoned mentor.

2 thoughts on “Excel Worksheet Functions and VBA Functions

  1. Do you want to read about the syntax and usage of an Excel 2013 or VBA function in your native language and practice with a demo workbook ?

    The facts:
    There are over 600 Excel & VBA functions in Office 2013.
    Excel functions have been translated in 16 languages.
    Microsoft offers over 20,000+ function help webpages in 50+ languages.

    How to navigate fast among so many help pages ?

    This free Ribbon Add-in will help you navigate to Microsoft’s online help pages with embedded workbooks, which can be downloaded to your computer for function inspection and in-depth practice.



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