Converting excel.vba projects to google apps script.

You are ready to move to the cloud, but what about all those legacy vba apps? Are they really going to influence your decision such that you have to stay where you are?

Moving to google docs

As an experiment, I am converting a very complex vba project to google apps script. As it turns out, it’s not so hard, and with a little preparation, it’s possible to create a set of libraries that abstracts the whole thing away from the platform, excel or google docs, so that even dual maintenance is feasible, and we will certainly have the tools to make future migrations a breeze.

You can follow along with the migration, or even help. See here for the migration of an excel roadmap per project to google apps script.

Author: brucemcp

7 thoughts on “Converting excel.vba projects to google apps script.

  1. Very very interesting. I have been Google App Script since day one, but never tried to port VBA stuff to Apps Script. Definitely would like to see the libraries that you put together for this project.

    1. Bruce,

      I have never created excel shapes programmatically so I am unsure how much work is involved in creating those shapes in Excel, but the functionality can be mimicked using Google UI Services. You can use a Absolute Panel and place objects on it by specifying the x,y coordinates. I have done this, and is not terribly complex.

      Alternatively, you can use Protovis visualization API or Google Charts API to create timeline charts for the roadmap generator app.

      p.s. Is converting from Excel VBA to Google Apps Script a consulting service that you offer? If so, can you please email me more details of the service at

    2. Saqib

      UI absolute panels are indeed what I am playing around with for this at the moment, but they are a bit cheesy. Especially since I would want to be able to copy and paste the finished grouped diagram between apps.

      I was hoping I could do something with Google Drawings, or with Google Presentations – but it seems that these various Google Apps are not connected or don't yet have scripting capability.

      I am very familiar with google charts, and have an entire section of my website about how to integrate them with Excel

      With protovis, I would need to take a gadget approach, and in fact in the past I did create a less fully functional gadget version, not involving google apps script at all, at

      However my objective is to see if I could figure out how to do this

      …using google apps natively, making the Excel and GAPPS version similar enough to enable dual maintenance. It's not the solution I'm really interested in – more to discover the equivalences between Gapps and Excel VBA.

      Those other solutions might give me a suitable end result, but I would not have gone through the equivalence analysis.

      thanks again for you input

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *