Difference Between VB and VBA (With Table)

VB and VBA are soft wares that are developed by the well-known company in this business, Microsoft. VB is the abbreviated form of Visual Basic whereas VBA stands for Visual Basic Applications. Visual Basic is used by programming beginners as the application is simple to code. VBA is used in many third party applications other than Microsoft’s.


The difference between Visual Basic and Visual Basic Application is that Visual Basic is fully compiled and the functions used are inbuilt. Visual Basic Application, on the other hand, allows users to add functionalities that they need in their applications. User-defined functions can be coded using VBA.

Visual Basic is introduced by Basics. It uses Component Object Model programming. It was legally accepted in the year 1991. It is supported by graphical user interfaces. It uses the Rapid Application Development module in GUIs to access the databases and create the objects that are needed to configure an application.

Visual Basic Applications is also developed by Basics. It was implemented by the event-driven programming language, Visual Basic 6 which is also from Microsoft. It was implemented as a support for Microsoft Office applications and hence user-defined functions were allowed to be added by the creator. Hence the applications were allowed to access many more functionalities in a system.


Comparison Table Between VB and VBA (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonVBVBA
Binary compilationVB can compile the program coded in it as executable binary.VBA cannot compile into executable binary and it needs an external source such as Word to do so.
DLLVB can use the Dynamic Link Library and implement Component Object Model programs.VBA does not have provisions to create programs that can use DLL.
Program typesVB can create stand-alone applications and has the compiler to do so.VBA cannot create a new application that is stand alone. It can be used only in Office applications.
Program CompilationVisual basic is fully compiled.VBA is only partially compiled. For compiling a program, it requires an interpreter.
SpeedVB quickly executes the programs that are compiled in it.VBA requires time to execute the API calls and hence, the time it takes for gathering output is high.


What is VB?

Visual Basic is the application programming interface that has been developed by Microsoft.  It uses event-driven programming language which means that the execution of a task is triggered only if certain other task linked to it starts to execute. Graphical User Interface is used to code programs here. So it is easy for the creator to use in-built functionalities.

Basic accesses that are required for running an application are been pre-programmed in the available functionalities.  The Rapid Application Development module of GUI provides access to the databases. Basic applications can be programmed using just Visual Basic. The updates that followed the initial version allowed users to use Windows API.

VB supports the programmers by providing default attributes and actions that defined these components. The advantage of creating an application using VB is that in the GUI, most of the functionalities of the application can be visually developed. It has many tools that can control the tasks in an application. Some of them are buttons and text boxes.

Subroutines and methods are used to identify the codes in VB. It can also use the ancient looping and other executable statement blocks. The array definitions must specify the upper and lower bounds of it. VB was developed mainly for scripting. Now it has been replaced by .NET which is also by the Microsoft teams.


What is VBA?

Visual Basic for Application is also developed by Microsoft including new features. It introduced User Defined Functions that can access Windows API and other functionalities required for a program through DLLs. It supports the functions that a user adds for his/her application. Also, it is easy to implement features such as menu, toolbar, and dialog bars.

The drawback of VBA is that it can only be functional in the applications that come under Microsoft Office. Standalone programs are not supported by it. So only the host applications use it. The code written in Visual Basic Application is compiled to Microsoft Pseudo code that acts as the intermediate language in its host applications.

The host application interacts with VBA using OLE automation. The host application has the DLL as well as the API to route the application to the correct document needed. The OLE automation of other applications is different and hence it cannot be effective in any other applications rather than host applications.

Officially, there are 11 releases for VBA beginning from 1993. The oldest version was launched in MS Excel which was a great success. This lead to the release of VBA 4.0 and now the previously released version was VBA 7.1. It is operational in Microsoft Office of 2013, 2016, and 2019.

Main Differences Between VB and VBA

  1. Visual Basic supports standalone executable programs. Visual Basic for Applications can only be used in host applications such as Microsoft Office.
  2. VB can code a program into an executable binary form whereas VBA needs an external support application to do so.
  3. VB has the provision to create applications that can use Dynamic Library links. VBA can only create programs that can use the DLLs present in the host applications.
  4. VB contains a compiler that is fully compiled. VBA is partially compiled and it needs an interpreter for support.
  5. VB can execute programs very quickly while VBA takes time to execute programs that have a lot of functions and API calls.



Visual Basic is developed by Basic powered by Microsoft. It is an interface that allows to code programs for third party applications. Event-driven programming is used in Visual Basics so that the tasks are triggered only if certain other tasks are executed. Also, any tools are present in it for the better arrangement of the application.

Visual Basic for Application is used as an extension of VB which is mainly developed for Microsoft Office. It has many specialized functionalities that can be applied only using host applications. The compiler is not fully functional and an interpreter is required for executing programs using Visual Basic Application.


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