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.

This workaround will not work if Excel 2003 or any earlier Excel releases are on your computer!!!!

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




Author: excel1star

Senior Excel VBA Automation Developer. Ex Aerospace Engineer with Grumman Aerospace

5 thoughts on “Important Note about the VBA Compare Utility from Formula Software”

  1. Thank you very much for this post about your discovery of how to use this tool with current versions of Excel! Using your method, I was able to get the tool to work effectively to compare different versions of my VBA code within Excel (office) 2016.


  2. I don’t see my previous comment here, so, at the risk of duplication, I’ll again thank you for posting your observation on getting this freeware diff utility to work for current Office files. It worked very effectively for me comparing my VBA code versions running in Excel (Office) 2016.


  3. Everything published made a bunch of sense. However, think on this,
    suppose you added a little content? I ain’t suggesting your
    information is not good, but suppose you added a post title that grabbed people’s attention? I mean Important Note about
    the VBA Compare Utility from Formula Software | alfred-excel-vachris is a little vanilla.
    You ought to peek at Yahoo’s front page and note how they create
    article headlines to get people to click. You might add a
    video or a picture or two to grab readers interested about what you’ve got to say.
    In my opinion, it might make your blog a little livelier.


      1. On the whole, I don’t think that the people who look at my positing understand the value!
        The hack to make VBA Compare work for the current excel XLSM workbook is really awesome.
        I never got any response from the author. And I would love to know how and why the hack works!


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