Important Note about the VBA Compare Utility from Formula Software

From time to time, when developing VBA codes it is necessary to compare the VBA code from different projects. A Google Search for “vba diff” will yield links to a number of products that will identify and document VBA differences.

Of all the products listed VBA Code Compare from Formula Software, Inc. is the only freeware product. It can be downloaded from this link:

Here is a short description of the features of the current version of VBA Code Compare.

VBA Code Compare 0.4 beta (April 2006)

  • Supports Word VBA projects (Word 97/2000/2003)
  • Supports command line options
  • Added ability to open “.MDW” workgroup files
  • New option: Ignore columns. This option allows you to specify ignored and compared characters ranges for each line
  • Added ability to close open modules.

However, I discovered that VBA Code Compare can also work with current versions of Excel XLSM Workbooks!

I discovered this functionality based on the technique that is used to open XLSM projects to present the underlying  XML structure. The technique is carried out by postfixing “.zip” to the XLSM workbook.

With this in mind, I took two XLSM workbooks and postfixed “.XLS” to each one. With this simple modification, I was able to use VBA Code Compare to open both workbooks.

Several of the VBA Differencing Products listed on the Google search:




Sorting in VBA using VBA-ADO

Several months ago I re-published my Code for an Enhanced Insertion Sort Algorithm.

At that point, my colleague SNB ( wrote to tell me about other methods that could be applied to achieve the same results.

SNB is the owner of a very valuable Web Site: VBA for Smarties

In particular, check out his great tutorial on VBA Arrays

He evaluated my code and provided a much simpler solution using

VBA-ADO Library which has a sorting method.

I am republishing the improved VBA project to provide a hands-on demonstration that presents the hard way and the easy way to sort using VBA.

SNB’s code is very efficient and direct, one routine for sorting numerical values and another one for sorting string. Each routine has 30 lines of code!

My code, on the other hand, has two routines for sorting numerical values and two routines for sorting strings along with a number of supporting routines. All in all, my codes require nearly 900 lines of code.

I have included a tab in the Workbook to demonstrate that our results match the stable sorting that is provided by the Worksheet sorting.

I want to point out that our sorting procedures are stable. Meaning that as the sorting is progressing through the original data, that the position of each new data item that is added to the sorted collection maintains its relative position to where it was in the original data.

I also want to underscore the importance that I give generating a permutation array to act as a sorting operator.
Based on what I have learned from SNB, I will be using his code as I continue the development of my Tool Kit of Numerical Techniques.

Link to the Workbook:

Other important references:

Stable Sorting:

Insertion Sorting:

Permutations for Sorting:

Other Links to VBA for Smarties: