I recently posted this question concerning Excel VBA TypeOf difficulties on Stack Overflow.

Was that the best site to post the question on, or would superUser have been a better choice?

  • 1
    It could work on either, but if you're doing serious "programming" in VBA you're likely to get a better response on SO.
    – nhinkle
    Aug 29, 2013 at 1:27
  • @nhinkle: It's about as serious as any VBA programming I expect. Trying to leverage the blunt O-O tools available in VBA is even harder when they are unreliable. Aug 29, 2013 at 1:31
  • Well, for what it's worth, I'm a very advanced VBA programmer (I also know other languages, but VBA is one I've been forced into mastering), and I mainly trawl SU, but I hardly ever do anything on SO except ask questions, so if that says anything about the target audience for your question....... personally I'd post it on SU. Aug 29, 2013 at 2:40
  • @somequixotic: Thank you. This meta question really is more about next time, as I probably won't cross-post beyond this entry. SO does seem to be much more C# and SQL than VBA, which is why I ask the question. If you have any thoughts or observations on my conundrum, I welcome receiving them. Aug 29, 2013 at 2:58
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    PieterGeerkens on one hand, by raw numbers, there are probably more people on SO who could give a really great answer to a VBA question. But with the volume SO gets, it might be more likely that somebody like @somequixotic who can give a really great answer would actually see your question on SU. So, YMMV basically.
    – nhinkle
    Aug 29, 2013 at 3:45
  • @nhinkle: I guess that means no clear consensus. It is a shame that the VBA community is fragmented between the two sites. Aug 29, 2013 at 5:04
  • @PieterGeerkens - Its because VBA is a programming language but calls itself anything except a programming language. It was created so blue collar people could perform an advanced computing task without having go through the extensive task of learning a programming language like C. I use blue collar to describe anyone who doesn't know a secondary programming language :-)
    – Ramhound
    Aug 29, 2013 at 11:42
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    @PieterGeerkens From my experience I can say, that SO is the better site for VBA questions. SU has 422 questions tagged with VBA while SO has 9976 tagged with Excel-VBA. Only trivial VBA questions should go to superuser.
    – nixda
    Aug 29, 2013 at 20:27
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    Personally, I would have probably flagged that question for migration to SO. "How can I do XYZ in Excel?" is an SU question but "Why are TypeOf operations failing?" is more SO. In fact, pure programming questions are explicitly off topic here and are more often closed or migrated than not.
    – terdon
    Sep 2, 2013 at 1:57
  • Also, contrast the two wiki pages stackoverflow.com/tags/vba/info superuser.com/tags/vba/info for VBA. I subscribe tot he VBA tag on SO but rarely come to SU to look for VBA questions.
    – Brad
    Sep 3, 2013 at 22:44

2 Answers 2


I'll go ahead and type up an answer as well, despite this being an old question that's out of date.

So the tag VBA on SU does have 900 questions here on SU, dating back to July 2009.

The tag has never included any reference to it being off-topic here.

For reference, powershell has basically the same stats as VBA.

And batch file has around 800 questions during the same time period.

VBA is Visual Basic for Applications. It doesn't require a secondary IDE. It is only used in Microsoft Office - which is certainly on-topic here as office makes up over 12% of all questions ever asked. Compared to windows (48.77%), office makes up about 1/4 of all other questions.1

Excel is the 11th most used tag here of all time -

enter image description here

Point being, users come here to ask questions about office, excel and VBA. As well as a few other "languages" and other types of macros. The majority of these users, if demonstrating effort, get their answer. A lot of these users don't even know what they want to do requires vba, so we need to explain how to enable the developer tab and where to put a module. Those users, in particular, would be very unlikely to receive help on SO given the attitude over there is different than here.

If users are coming here for something, and have been for the entire history of the site, and receive help that is satisfactory, and we have users that don't mind answering the questions, why should we turn them away?

I don't see how it's been demonstrated as off-topic. I don't even see a demonstration that it would be more on-topic over at SO. Sure if VBA is sending to a web form through IE. If powershell is being called from VBScript. These may not get help at SU and would be better off in SO (and we migrate those - SU is the third largest migrater to SU).

But as it seems these questions have historically been on-topic here, some users prefer to ask them here, and many users get the help they want along with step-by-step that may not be given on SO, why should we stop that?

1 I ran This query on data explorer, exported to excel and calculated the percentages.

Just to add, excel is top 16 tag (unlinked to others!) on the site according to TagOverflow

check here


questions that meet the Stack Overflow criteria should be posted on Stack Overflow or migrated to Stack Overflow. Proper Stack Overflow criteria would include either an attempt at the code with a specific error, or a functionality question of a specific object or method (hopefully with code as well). This is especially true given the SU Help Page says:

If you have a question about...

and it is not about...

  • programming

Questions such as Intersect ERROR:Method 'Range' of object '_Global' failed are perfect candidates for migration.

There are only 901 questions tagged as on SU. There are 36,923 questions tagged as on SO which demonstrates where the subject experts live.

Taking it one step further:


All-time 31.3% Unanswered at SO vs. 38.6% Unanswered at SU

  • 1
    See meta.superuser.com/q/4565/76571
    – Excellll
    Jan 29, 2015 at 22:03
  • @Excellll The answer you linked (from 2012 mind you) quotes a help file that does not include the line "is not about programming". Apparently that has been added since. So the linked question/answer is no longer valid. Jan 29, 2015 at 22:08
  • @Raystafarian excel-application <> VBA Jan 30, 2015 at 2:01
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    This sure is timely. I was about to ask about VBA programming being on topic here when you resurrected the issue with your answer. The specific trigger question was superuser.com/questions/869666/….
    – fixer1234
    Jan 30, 2015 at 2:50

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