“Randy, why is it that you avoid using UserForms?” [Solution Saturday #5]

Hi My Friends,

This week’s Solutions Saturday  comes from a question by Brent Craig, who asks “Randy, why is it that you avoid using UserForms?” That is a great question Brent and I am happy to answer this.

I think it all started many years ago and there are several reasons actually. However over the last few years I do use them sparingly when it is required or helpful as you have may have seen in some of my training videos, such as a User Login form in the User Login & Security workbook, Time clock change in the Employee Manager, or editing a Custom Report Name in my Dashboard Masterclass.

With that said there are several reasons why I try not to use UserForms  when I feel it’s not required as follows

  1. Early Adoption Instability – I became frustrated with using UserForms a long time ago when I started creating UserForms and. I had some serious crashes do to cell source links and different versions of Excel not working together with UserForms
  2. Limited Workability – It seems that the UserForm interface has not improved in 20 years.  I find it difficult to work with and move multiple fields at the same time (Something as simple as selecting multiple fields and using the Arrow keys to move these fields proves difficult)
  3. Poor UI – I like to be able to use fades, multiple colors, png pictures and have a full color palate available however the UserForms limited color palate, inability to use color fades, transparencies.
  4. Streamlined User Experience – I like to have a smooth user experience by limiting the # of clicks or steps they need to do for a specific action. I find that opening and closing of UserForms are often extra steps that are not needed. When forms are sheet-based, users can often change and save data without clicking any buttons at all.
  5. Limited Features – While forms can be great, they have limited features compared to a cell based form.  Although cell-based forms to have some limits of their own (Location of fields, tab order, etc) I find that I can add a lot more features , rich user experience, and offer complete solutions, without forms.

I realize many (if not most) developers love to use UserForms and have perfected the art of using these in your applications. There is no right or wrong in this case. It is more of a matter of preference. As always, as developers we want to find the best solution for our customers, applications and projects to achieve the results we are looking for.

I hope this helps and thanks for the great question Brent.

Thanks so much

Randy Austin

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