How to Run Excel Macros in a Mac iWork

Updated April 17, 2017

If you use spreadsheets a lot, you've probably used a mini-program to automate functions in your spreadsheet. These custom macros (or scripts) are frequently programmed into Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, as they can handle complex calculations that simple spreadsheet formulas can't. Macros are written in a programming language called Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Unfortunately, Apple's spreadsheet application, Numbers, can't read macros that are written in VBA. If you have Apple's iWork 09, however, there are a few options you can try if you still want to use macros in your spreadsheets.

Use AppleScript to create your spreadsheet macros. This is the built-in Mac OS X scripting language. All iWork '09 applications, including Numbers, support the use of AppleScript.

Switch to using the previous version of Excel for Mac. Excel 2004 supports the use of VBA macros.

Convert your Numbers '09 spreadsheet to a Windows Excel spreadsheet format. Open your Numbers spreadsheet, and click "File," then "Save As." Select "Save copy as," and choose Excel Document from the pop-up menu. You can now apply macros to the spreadsheet by opening the spreadsheet with a Windows version of Excel.

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About the Author

Ruby Neusom has been a professional writer since 2009. She has published work in "Poetry Is Dead," "Pearls" and Inked. She holds an Associate of Arts in creative writing from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, a Bachelor of Arts in English literature (Hons.) from the University of British Columbia and is pursuing a diploma in professional writing at Douglas College.