Carl Franklin and Programming for Microsoft Office

I can’t believe that a technical guy like Carl Franklin would express difficulty with learning the object model of say Microsoft Word and actually found Visual Basic 6.x stuff easier! But he did just that during the December 27 2004 .NET Rocks! show “Talking Smart Clients with Rob Barker.”

But then I had to think back to the day that began without the Internet. In those days, the sun rose and the sun set on the F1 key for us Office VBA programmers. There was option to install Office without the VBA help files—and most Microsoft Office installs were probably like that since it is a default option. So poor Carl was probably stuck with trying to write code without having the luxury of placing his cursor over a VBA keyword and hitting the F1 key.

When VBA help pops up for every VBA keyword, any seasoned programmer like Carl would have learned Office programming easily. The F1 key was our MSDN back in those days! I’m convinced that one installation option and one keyboard key prevented Carl Franklin from falling in love with Office programming. Even though I now program in C#, I would not have a healthy respect for Visual Basic without Microsoft Office automation.