VBA Purgatory: The God Damned Scroll Wheel

This is hopefully the last post from my VBA Purgatory cycle. This time around it is a rant about one of the more infuriating little bugs in MS office namely the lack of scroll wheel support in the built in VBA editor. I have no clue why that little editor doesn’t work with the scroll wheel when the rest of the office does. It makes no sense.

I read somewhere that this may have something to do with mouse drivers you are using. Apparently some of proprietary MS drivers do work. I currently use MS Sidewinder and I can confirm that the scroll wheel works in the copy of Office 2007 that was graciously provided to my by the CS department at my university. On my work laptop however I use Logitech VX Revolution with Logitech drivers installed on the XP running inside a VM and the wheel doesn’t work in Office 2003.

Two things may be happening here. Perhaps MS finally fixed this issue on 2007 version of their product (and about time damn it!) or it is indeed a driver dependent thing. Either way, most of office users are still on 2003 because the ribbon interface sucks total ass until you get the hang of it. I’ve been using it for over 2 semesters now so it makes no difference to me – just another interface I guess. I can find my way around easily, but I noticed that learning new UI is akin to the end of the world for some people. Also not everyone owns a MS mouse so I set out to find a solution to this issue.

As you can suspect, there are millions of google hits for the VBA editor scroll wheel query. I found that Daily Dose of Excel had the broad range of solutions to this issue. It pointed me to a MS Knowledge Base article which apparently claims this behavior is by design, but also offers two workarounds one of which is the download VB6MouseWheel.EXE package which may (but doesn’t have to) fix it for you.

If it doesn’t work, the Daily Dose blog recommends 3 software solutions that are targeted specifically at VBA. Some are more configurable than others and may offer additional functionality. Personally I recommend the last one – the Scroll Wheel Fix for VB6 (and others). While it is the least configurable of the 3 it is also the only one which is published both as binary and as source code. And this is not just the security freak in me talking here. After all I did not go through the code line by line to check for shady stuff. It’s just that the act of making code available is praiseworthy, and I want to support the guy who releases his solution to the world rather than just posting a binary on his home page bragging about his awesome haxin skills.

Also, the solution doesn’t seem to be that incredibly complex. I counted a little over 500 lines of code in the source. While it is a sizable chunk of code, it doesn’t seem like a complete show stopper of a project that could not be included in each of the successive releases of MS’s flagship product. To me the fact it was never fixed indicates that no one at MS actually cares about the VBA editor. They know full well that the core users of their product never will actually see it. The only people who will work with it are the poor souls forced to write macros as a form of punishment by pointy headed managerial staff. And since they will loathe the task anyway MS sees no reason to actually make their life any easier.

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2 Responses to VBA Purgatory: The God Damned Scroll Wheel

  1. jambarama UNITED STATES K-Meleon Windows Terminalist says:

    I swapped to coding in notepad++ because of this issue. I still stepped through the code in the VBA editor, and made minor edits there, but this drove me crazy. You did a lot more research than I had, but I never did get it to work in 2003, and it worked out of the box in 2007. I’m pretty sure it was a fix in the new office – I upgraded office on the same box.

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  2. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @jambarama: Ok, so I guess they finally fixed it. That’s one good thing about Office 2007.

    Now if I could only make it open as fast as 2003 (instead of showing the splash screen for 3+ seconds each time that would be great. :P

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