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Supercharge Excel with the WST Macros Add-in

A year ago I wrote about Wall St. Training and their free Excel modeling resources. In that post, I mentioned the free WST Macros and how it is an indispensable add-in; one that I use in my professional life daily.

Well, version 4.4 was recently released and so I thought this was a good time to remind everyone about this great tool. I also thought I’d give a quick tutorial on how to download and add the tool to your version of Excel.

What is the WST Macros?

WST Macros, despite its name, is not an Excel macro but rather an Excel add-in. It is installed in the same way that the Solver or Analysis Toolpak are installed to Excel. The tool adds dozens of new keyboard shortcuts (Increase-Decrease decimals via CTRL+ALT+>, for instance, is a huge time saver), and includes a robust formula auditing tool that is far superior to Excel’s built-in auditing functionality. I installed this for the first time a couple of years ago, and I couldn’t imagine modeling without it.

A sampling of the many shortcuts included in the WST Macro.

A sampling of the many shortcuts included in the WST Macros.

Click to Download the List of Features and Shortcuts

Where do I download the Add-in?

The add-in can be downloaded at the Wall St Training resource page by clicking on this link.

WallSttraining Resources Page

Screenshot of the download page for the WST Macro

Under technical resources you’ll see an item entitled WST Macros vX.X (ZIP). Click the item to download a zip file containing:

  1. The Excel Add-in file (.XLA file)
  2. Installation instructions (.PDF file)
  3. A detailed list of features (.PDF file)

How do I install the tool in Excel?

Obviously, if you don’t have MS Excel you’ll need to get it now. I recommend a monthly Office 365 subscription (it’s like $5 – $10 bucks a month) if you’re a professional or a student license (less than $20 bucks a year) if you’re a student.

Once you’ve downloaded the zip file containing the Excel add-in file (.XLA file), you’ll want to extract the three files to your desktop. Then open the file named “WST Macros Add-in Instructions.pdf”. This file contains the Excel for PC and Excel for Mac instructions on how to install add-ins to Excel. Follow the instructions to install the add-in to Excel.

A few pointers I’ll offer about the PC installation:

  1. Make sure to save the add-in file to a location on your PC where it will stay permanently. The default location is: /User/[User Name]/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/AddIns but you can store the file wherever you’d like so long as you do not move the file. If you do move the file, the add-in will stop working and an error will popup each time you open Excel.
  2. Only install the add-in with one blank Excel file open. The add-in may not install correctly if an existing workbook or multiple workbooks are open when you perform the installation.
  3. From time-to-time, add-ins in Excel will stop working. I’m not sure why this is, and it’s not specific to the WST Macros but appears to be an Excel bug. If this ever happens to you, simply save your workbook, close Excel, and then reopen Excel. The add-ins will then work again.

Now what?

With the add-in installed, I suggest printing out the features/shortcuts list and hanging it next to your computer. It will take a few days to get accustomed to using the new keystrokes. But I assure you, if you commit to using the keyboard shortcuts and other features include in this tool, it will supercharge your Excel experience.

Check out more Excel modeling tips

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can contact me here.

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