The Microsoft Mac Business Unit has released Service Pack 1 for Office for Mac 2008 users. The update brings a slew of bug fixes, small changes and performance enhancements, but the real news is the accompanying announcement that the next revision of Office for Mac will bring back support for the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) scripting language.
VBA is a scripting language that enables you to automatic Microsoft Office applications, customize dialogs and more. Although Apple’s OS X ships with its own scripting language (Applescript), those scripts won’t run on a PC (Microsoft does have a guide to converting VBA scripts to AppleScript). VBA was part of Office 2004 but, due complexities in the transition from PowerPC to Intel chips, it was left out of Office 2008.
The absence of VBA in Office for Mac 2008 means that while you can swap documents between Mac and Windows, you can’t swap macros and other time-saving workflow helpers with your Windows wielding cohorts.
But all that will change with the next version of Office for Mac, which will include full VBA support.