A lot of people don’t realize Excel’s support for the Visual Basic programming language. You can make use of this, even if you’re not a programmer yourself. Pre-written VBA code, often already implemented in Excel files, can be found online.
Below are, without further ado, the top three sources for these free Excel programs.
Probably the richest and most extensive repository of free Excel programs is of Microsoft’s own making. On the Microsoft Office website, you’ll find countless pre-built Excel templates. The complexity of, and use for, these templates varies widely, although most of them are clearly intended for business purposes.
So you’ll find everything from pre-built time sheets, financial calculators and academic calendars, but also Excel 3D examples, and even a playable piano octave. The uses are many, and you’ll take a long time to just browse all of these categories.
If you’re a regular spreadsheet user, you can be sure to find your fair share of free Excel programs here, and ultimately save a ton of work.
The only downside is the site’s usability, which could use some improvement. As such, it is impossible to browse the templates by application alone. The best way to work is to find the My Programs field in the left sidebar. Here you can add all Office programs you own, and thus eliminate the better part of superfluous templates.
Although irrelevant (read: empty) categories will still be shown in the category overview, the underlying templates should all be compatible with your version of Excel.
Vertex42 Excel Templates / Financial Calculators
One site, no matter how big, will never show you all that’s available. That’s where our runner-up comes in. Vertex42 is a website dedicated to everything related to Excel – including templates and financial calculators.
Although they deal in smaller numbers, the programs shown are of pristine quality, and make Vertex42 the best unofficial source for Excel programs. A large part of these even work on Open Office as well!
The site’s content is divided up in two major categories; Excel Templates and Financial Calculators. Both of these show a clear overview of the available programs, without any further hassle with filters. In that, Vertex42 has clearly bested the Microsoft Office official templates site.
Combined, Microsoft Office and Vertex42 should be able to fill the needs of serious businesses. This last website is complementary, and wouldn’t be considered ‘useful’ by all parties.
Visual Basic of course isn’t limited to dull timetables and financial calculators. If you’re stuck at work and limited to the games already installed on your computer, you can use Visual Basic in Excel to play games – and if you put some big numbers in the next tab, you can quickly switch panes when your supervisor sneaks a peek. Don’t forget to move some serious work, though. These games won’t pay the bills if you get yourself fired!
The Excel Games site boosts just under forty different games, mostly classics like Pong, Battleship, Tetris, Bubbles and a variety of card games. These are all downloadable as simple XLS files – also compatible with older versions of Excel.
Do you know any other sources for useful, free Excel programs?