BASIC Programming Guide

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This guide provides an introduction to programming with Basic. To get the most out of this book, you should be familiar with other programming languages. Extensive examples are provided to help you quickly develop your own Basic programs.

Tip.png offers a complete user interface for developing programs in Basic. It is described in the chapter Basic of the Developer's Guide. Before attempting to write macros you should read First Steps with Basic and the pages on Basic IDE. Since other pages of the Developer's Guide on Basic are technical details for experienced Basic programmers, you should then read this Basic Programming Guide.

This guide divides information about administration into several chapters. The first three chapters introduce you to Basic:

These chapters provide an overview of Basic and should be read by anyone who intends to write Basic programs. The remaining chapters describe the individual components of the API in more detail and can be read selectively as required:

About Basic

The Basic programming language has been developed especially for and is firmly integrated in the Office package.

As the name suggests, Basic is a programming language from the Basic family. Anyone who has previously worked with other Basic languages — in particular with Visual Basic or Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) from Microsoft — will quickly become accustomed to Basic. Large sections of the basic constructs of Basic are compatible with Visual Basic.

The Basic programming language can be divided into four components:

  • The language of Basic: Defines the elementary linguistic constructs, for example, for variable declarations, loops, and functions.
  • The runtime library: Provides standard functions which have no direct reference to, for example, functions for editing numbers, strings, date values, and files.
  • The API (Application Programming Interface): Permits access to documents and allows these to be created, saved, modified, and printed.
  • The Dialog Editor: Creates personal dialog windows and provides scope for the adding of control elements and event handlers.
Documentation note.png VBA : Compatibility between Basic and VBA relates to the Basic language as well as the runtime library. The API and the Dialog Editor are not compatible with VBA (standardizing these interfaces would have made many of the concepts provided in impossible).

Intended Users of Basic

The scope of application for Basic begins where the standard functions of end. Routine tasks can therefore be automated in Basic, links can be made to other programs — for example to a database server — and complex activities can be performed at the press of a button by using predefined scripts. Basic offers complete access to all functions, supports all functions, modifies document types, and provides options for creating personal dialog windows.

Use of Basic Basic can be used by any user without any additional programs or aids. Even in the standard installation, Basic has all the components needed to create its own Basic macros, including:

  • The integrated development environment (IDE) which provides an editor for creating and testing macros.
  • The interpreter, which is needed to run Basic macros.
  • The interfaces to various applications, which allow for direct access to Office documents.

More Information

The components of the API that are discussed in this guide were selected based on their practical benefits for the Basic programmer. In general, only parts of the interfaces are discussed. For a more detailed picture, see the API reference.

The Developer's Guide describes the API in more detail than this guide, but is primarily intended for Java and C++ programmers. Anyone who is already familiar with Basic programming can find additional information in the Developer's Guide on Basic and programming. Advanced programmers may wish to consult Iannz's tutorial.

Programmers who want to work directly with Java or C++ rather than Basic should consult the Developer's Guide instead of this guide. programming with Java or C++ is a considerably more complex process than programming with Basic.

Content on this page is licensed under the Public Documentation License (PDL).
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