VBA vs. Python: Which is Best for You?

Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) and Python are two powerful languages with unique strengths and applications. But which should you choose?

Each language has its unique ecosystem, libraries, and community. You have to consider all the factors to consider. Then, you can start to learn it and get the valuable certification.

Today, we will compare VBA and Python side by side. So follow our lead to find the perfect coding companion!

What is VBA?

VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) is a programming language developed by Microsoft. Hence, we mostly use it within Microsoft Office applications, such as Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Access.

VBA automates tasks as well as customizes the functionality of the applications. It also assists in creating scripts or macros that execute a series of operations and actions.

What is Python?

Python is a versatile and high-level programming language. It emphasizes readability and simplicity, making it beginner-friendly.

Thanks to its simplicity, Python is widely used, especially for software development, web development, AI (Artificial Intelligence), and ML (Machine Learning).

This programming language is also suitable for automation tasks. The rich set of modules and libraries enables developers to streamline repetitive tasks.

Key Differences

VBA and Python are popular programming languages. Hence, earning a certification for them will be advantageous. However, they differ in various terms, and we will discuss the differences between them right now.

PurposeExtending and automating Microsoft Office appsGeneral-purpose programming language
SpeedFast when handling Office automation tasksFast
Ease of useEasierFast
AutomationFocused on Microsoft Office automationHarder
LibrariesLimitedFor various domains
PopularityWidely used within Microsoft OfficeExtensive
Application scopeLimited to Microsoft OfficeGlobally popular

1. Purpose

VBA’s purpose is to extend and automate functionality within Microsoft Office applications. Meanwhile, Python aims at various applications, including web development, AI, ML, data analysis, and more.

2. Speed

Python generally outperforms VBA when handling data analysis and transformation tasks. The optimized frameworks and libraries provide efficient data manipulation. As a result, you can process large datasets faster.

On the contrary, VBA excels in the context of Office automation within the Microsoft Office environment. You can use it to efficiently execute tasks related to Excel, Access, and Word.

3. Ease of use

VBA is often regarded as relatively easy to get started with. Things even become simpler if you are already familiar with the Microsoft Office suite.

Moreover, the Graphical User Interface (GUI) allows you to automate tasks visually, making them accessible to users without extensive coding knowledge.

On the other hand, Python has clean syntax. Even so, it can be more challenging to learn. Setting up a Python environment may add some initial complexity.

However, the readability and similarity to English of Python can facilitate your learning process. Yet, ensure you have grasped the basic concepts.

VBA is easier to learn

4. Automation

VBA provides a straightforward way to automate tasks within the Microsoft Office suite. You can use it to complete tasks, create macros, and interact with the Office Object Model.

On the other hand, Python offers a broader scope for automation. For example, it works well for Office automation through libraries. Plus, you can run it on any operating system to automate various tasks beyond Office applications.

5. Libraries

VBA has a limited set of libraries. In fact, it primarily relies on the functionality of Microsoft Office. Python, in contrast, has a vast ecosystem of frameworks and libraries that cater to diverse needs.

More specifically, Python libraries cover areas like Flask and Django for web development. Numpy and SciPy for scientific computing won’t be a problem. All of this support makes this programming language highly versatile.

6. Popularity

We have used VBA for a long time, but mainly in Microsoft Office. Hence, it has a massive user base with lots of online resources and forums.

VBA’s popularity comes from its integration with popular Microsoft Office applications. So, it’s common in businesses and professional settings.

On the contrary, Python is popular because of its versatility. Its community creates many free libraries and frameworks that anyone can use. Their effort makes Python a popular choice for different applications.

7. Application scope

We mostly use VBA for automating and enhancing Microsoft Office applications. Although it’s the best choice in this domain, you may not appreciate its limited application scope.

On the other hand, you can apply Python to various domains. It’s suitable for projects of all sizes.

Python can help you with more projects

Pros and Cons

The pros and cons of each programming language may change your mind when selecting the best for your needs.



  • VBA seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Office applications.
  • The straightforward syntax makes it easy to use, especially when you are familiar with Microsoft Office beforehand.
  • VBA has a large user base.


  • VBA has a limited set of built-in functions and libraries.
  • You can only use VBA for the Microsoft Office ecosystem.



  • Python can work for various purposes.
  • The vast ecosystem of libraries and frameworks offers ready-made solutions for different tasks.
  • Python has a large and active community.


  • Python may have a steeper learning curve for beginners.

Which Should You Choose?

The choice between VBA and Python depends on your specific needs and requirements. Consider VBA if:

  • You primarily work within the Microsoft Office suite.
  • Your project focuses on Office automation tasks.
  • You have limited programming experience and prefer a simpler language.

On the other hand, Python will be a better choice if:

  • You need a versatile programming language to handle different domains.
  • A widely used language is more attractive to you.
  • You value a large and active community with abundant resources.


When comparing VBA and Python, it’s important to note that the better choice depends on your specific needs and context.

VBA shines within the Microsoft Office ecosystem, offering seamless integration for working with Office applications. On the other hand, the vast ecosystem of libraries and frameworks makes Python an excellent option for multiple tasks.

Hopefully, this side-by-side comparison can help you learn the best programming language. Don’t hesitate to ask us for any further information.

Thank you for reading!