MZ-Tools 8.0 for VBA

One of my favourite add-ins of all time just got an upgrade, and I’m super stoked about it.  Why?  Because I can use it again!

As I began my VBA journey, there were two add-ins that I used all the time:

Both were invaluable, with SmartIndenter allowing right click access to re-indent code, and MZ Tools providing a TON of useful content.  (My favourite was the error handling template I could just inject with a couple of clicks.)

It became painful to work on or debug VBA code on anyone’s PC who didn't’ have these tools installed, and the became part of the default installation routine for my machine.

Why I’ve been Add-in free for years

Unfortunately, both MZ Tools (3.0) and SmartIndenter were written in VB6, which meant that they were restricted to the 32 bit versions of Excel.  And that meant that the day I started using Power Pivot, I lost the ability to use either add-in.  (Okay, to be fair I could have stuck with 32 bit Excel for Power Pivot… except there was no way I was doing that.  The need for more memory accessed trumped the tools that made my VBA life easier.)

I’ve now been running without the aid of these tools for about 5 years… which is shocking… and STILL miss them.  A few times over the last few years, I even made some attempts to replicate some of these features on my own, but I could never figure out how to get VB.NET to hook into the VBIDE, so gave up on it.  Instead I focussed on tools I could control, building add-ins and software in other areas.  (It always irked me that I couldn’t figure out how to hook the VBIDE though!)

No longer Add-in Free

For that reason, I was pretty jazzed when Carlos Quintero emailed out to say that he’s updated and released not only MZ-Tools for Visual Studio, but also MZ-Tools 8.0 for VBA.  That is FANTASTIC.  I’ve downloaded it, got it installed, and am already digging through the loads of features to customize my templates.

Unfortunately I’m not such a good judge of what’s new in this version (my memory of it is five years out of date) but here’s some of the stuff that I’m looking forward to (re-)acquainting myself with:

  • Dead code review.  I’ve already scanned a couple of my add-ins and found unused variables and unused routines that can be trimmed.
  • Statistics.  Kind of a vanity thing, maybe, but I’ve always wondered how many lines of code are actually in my XLGFileTools add-in.  As of today, the answer is 6,726.  (Maybe a couple less once I review the Dead Code report above)
  • Code templates:  I can’t wait to rebuild the error handling template.  I also remember in the past the ability to insert a comment block at the top of each routine/module very easily for documentation too.
  • The simple thing of being able to right click the Immediate window and choose Clear.  Oh my how I’ve missed you!

These are just some highlights, there are obviously tons more.

Worth the cost

if you look back you’ll see I don’t endorse many products, and certainly not as passionately as I am here.

The goal of MZ-Tools is to make your everyday programming life easier.  I 100% believe that it does that, and that it is worth the cost to purchase it – something I don’t say very often!  (Understand I’m not making any commission or advertising revenues off this, either.)  The software is just that good and useful.

But even better, if you are in the market for it, Carlos has a 50% sale on through the end of October.  That will save you $40 off the regular $79.95 price tag.  How can you beat that?

You can find it at http://mztools.com/index.aspx 

Happy coding!

6 thoughts on “MZ-Tools 8.0 for VBA

  1. Microsoft's Visual Studio Code is a free, redefined, cross-platform code editor that runs natively on OS-X, Linux and Windows. Visual Studio Code is a standalone, lightweight editor and should not be confused with Visual Studio's IDE.

    Code notable features include syntax highlighting, customizable keyboard bindings, bracket matching, snippets, IntelliSense, auto file saving, Git support with version control and themes! Unless VBE gets a major overhaul, it would difficult to match these features, even with 3rd party utilities.
    '
    http://www.spreadsheet1.com/visual-studio-code-editor.html

  2. Interesting, Petros. I haven't come across that one, and will have to take a look. I still stand behind MZ-Tools though, for a plugin to the VBE. 🙂

  3. Hello, I'll contact you to see if you can give me some possible solution to my problem when using MzTools and SmartIndenter in VBA (acces 2003). Both add-ons were installed in Win XP with Office 2003 and it worked wonders. I am an amateur programmer and it really is a very good tool.
    I had to leave the XP and I went to W7 installed the Officce 2003 and MzTools and Smartindenter, the issue is that every time I try to use the MzTools the Access is restarted, giving me no possible clue to solve this problem.
    Therefore, I would like to know if you know anything about this issue. Thank you very much in advance.

  4. I would suggest you contact MZ Tools. Be aware though, that Office 2003 is well out of long term support for Microsoft, so it could be the same for MZ Tools version you're using. But if there is an easy fix, they will know it.

  5. The original VB6 source code of Smart Indenter was given to the Rubberduck OSS project in 2015. Since v2.0, Rubberduck has all the Smart Indenter features (including a few corner-case bug-fixes) and works on both x86 and x64 hosts.

    Version 2.2 (released today) packs 66 configurable code inspections that can locate dead code (although they're not looking in commented-out code like MZ does) and obsolete code constructs, with a particular emphasis on implicit code that can result in readability issues (implicit types, implicit ByRef, implicit accessibility, implicit default member calls, etc.), and offers some serious navigation tooling that will make you wonder how you could work in the VBE without Rubberduck all this time, and I'm not even mentioning the refactoring tools and the unit testing framework.

    Rubberduck was seen working in Office 2000, so Office 2003 shouldn't be a problem. I wouldn't guarantee anything about any earlier version though.

    Full disclaimer: I own that OSS project.

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