Lotus macro conversion -- convert wk1, wk3, wk4 macros to
excel (Also Baler, BalerXE)
Many of these Lotus macros will run properly under Excel. By converting these old spreadsheets to Excel you gain access to the formatting, programming, and graphics power that Excel has to offer. Any problem routines can either be corrected within the Lotus macro or re-written using Excel visual basic programming.
Please note that you should exercise caution towards spending a lot of time or money to fix the original Lotus macros so that they work perfectly in Excel. After you see what can be done with Excel visual basic, command buttons, message boxes, pull down menus, etc... you may decide that it is preferable to convert these macros to Excel. If the original Lotus macro can be fixed quickly and easily, then it is worth a try. Otherwise, you should think about converting them to Excel visual basic. Also, consider the possibility that the next version of Excel will not have as extensive support for the Lotus macros as we enjoy today.
In general, Excel visual basic routines run smoother in Excel than Lotus macros. Thus, we usually end up re-writing them in visual basic. Simple Lotus macros (print, query, etc) can be re-done fairly quickly, even if they already work properly in Excel. If you are having occasional problems or you just don't like the way that your Lotus macros compare to the others, consider converting the macros.
What about very complicated and extensive Lotus macro programs? That is a tough question. First, you probably want to try running your lotus macros in Excel (use Ctrl-? instead of Alt-? as in Lotus 2.x). If some of them seem to work OK and a few of them don't, then it might be worth modifying the original Lotus macro to make it work the desired way. If none of them seem to work real well, then you might want to convert most/all of them to Excel visual basic. Or, if you don't have a strong need for the Excel features, you could just keep running them in Lotus.
Another thing to consider: What appears to be a very complicated Lotus macro may actually be fairly easy to convert to Excel. Some macros have miles of code that only give you a few inches worth of results. Over 15 years spent writing Lotus macros makes all of them a bit easier to understand and convert.
The first step in any macro/sheet conversion from Lotus to Excel should be an overall review of what the Lotus macros and spreadsheet are doing. Sometimes, there are easier ways to do the same things now in Excel than there were several years ago when the Lotus macros were written. In addition, the person that wrote the macros probably knew very well what they wanted to do, but they were maybe not aware of more advanced spreadsheet techniques that they could use to do what they wanted in an easier way. Hard drive capacities change, processor speeds change, and spreadsheet features change. Thus, the need for the review.
If you need to scrap some of the macro code for a better approach, obviously it would be a waste of time to convert that code to XL visual basic. Don't jump in and start converting macros as a first step unless you are very happy with the way they work now, or are fairly sure that there is not a better and easier way worth considering to do what you need. Until you see a better way, you might not know what you are missing.
Again, don't spend time and money modifying the original Lotus macros to get them to work exactly the way you want in Excel 1997. If you are going to put out a huge effort, consider converting everything to visual basic from the beginning. Then after all the effort is expended, you will have code that should be highly compatible and easily upgradeable in future versions of XL. I don't think that Microsoft will be going out of business any time soon-- Excel might even survive too! To have all of your code in easily upgradeable, world wide accepted, native Excel visual basic just makes a whole lot of sense. NOTE: XL2007 currently does not support Lotus files.
If your version of XL2003 will no longer open Lotus files, here is the fix from Microsoft. This disappears after after you install Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 3 (SP3). Quoting the fix: To re-enable Excel file types only (including Lotus Files), save the following file to a folder on the computer:
Notes on formula conversion errors:
Here is a quote from Microsoft Excel 97 help about Lotus
(bottom of page)
Here is a quote from Microsoft Excel 2007 help about Lotus Files: (Don't Lose your XL2003 CD!)
Support for the following file formats has been removed from Excel 2007. You will not be able to open or save workbooks in these file formats.
Microsoft offers a file download that explains the Visual Basic keyword equivalents for different Lotus macro commands. If you want to roll up your sleeves and try it yourself, WE1277.EXE is available from Microsoft as a self extracting Word file. This should help get you started. If all of this is making you tired just thinking about it, feel free to send us your file as an E-mail attachment and we will take a look and give you a quote.
Note: Converting simple macros does not take a lot of time (if you already know how to do it). Frequently, formatting the cell widths, text alignments, fonts, colors, etc. because of the different look in Excel takes more time. You can do most of this part yourself if you want to keep outside costs to a minimum.
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