by May 5, 2000 0 comments

Ignorance
is no longer bliss. Those of you, who’ve been ignorant of macros in Office
suites, might have spent endless hours in manually performing a series of
repetitive tasks to accomplish your goal. But, did you know that you could
automate your tasks by creating a custom command or a macro? If you were
indeed aware of it, did you know how to create a macro?

If not, read on. Here we’ll
look at how to create macros in Word 2000. Creating macros in other Office
suites works in much the same way.

What’s a macro?

In simple
terms, macros are like batch files. They’re a series of commands grouped
into one. For example, if you frequently change the formatting of text in a
Word document, then instead of selecting options in dialog boxes, you can
create a macro that’ll do all these steps simultaneously.

There are two ways to create
macros in Word–the Visual Basic editor and the Macro recorder.

The Visual Basic editor is
used for editing and debugging Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)–a
programming language that’s designed specifically for Office applications
and has its roots in Visual Basic. So, if you’re familiar with
programming, you can use the Visual Basic editor to create powerful macros.
If you aren’t a programmer, you can still use the Macro recorder. The
Macro recorder automatically translates your actions into Visual Basic code,
which you can later edit using the Visual Basic editor.

Here, we’ll use the Macro
recorder.

Start Word. From the Tools
menu, select Macro>Record New Macro

You’ll come across the
“Record Macro” dialog box.

  • Enter a name for the
    macro in the Macro name box.

  • In the “Store macro
    in” box, select a template or document in which you wish to store
    the macro. By default, Word stores macros in the Normal template, so
    that they’re available for use with every Word document. However, if
    you wish to use a macro in a single document, store it in that document
    only. If the macro is to be used in a set of documents that use a common
    template, then you can store the macro in that template instead of
    Normal.dot

  • l In the description box,
    describe your macro for later reference

Note:
Word comes with a few built-in macros. So, if your macro name is the
same as an existing built-in macro, the new macro action will replace the
existing actions. To view a list of built-in macros, go to
Tools>Macro>Macros. In the “Macros in” list, click Word
commands. You’ll come across a list of built-in macros.

For quick access, it’s a
good idea to associate your macro with a keyboard shortcut or a toolbar
button.

Keyboard shortcut

A keyboard
shortcut is basically a combination of two keys, like Alt+G or Ctr+A, etc.

To create a keyboard
shortcut, click on the Keyboard icon from the Record Macro screen.

You’ll come across the
Customize Keyboard dialog box.

Press the key combination you
wish to associate with your macro. If an existing command or macro is
already assigned to the shortcut you choose, Word lists it below the
“Press new shortcut key” box. So, after assigning an unassigned
keyboard shortcut, click Assign.

Toolbars buttons

If you want
to call up your macro using your mouse, you need to create a toolbar button
for it. To create a toolbar button, click on the Toolbars icon from the
Record Macro screen.

You’ll come across the
Customize dialog box.

Click the Commands tab and
drag the macro from the Command list to the toolbar on which you want to
place the button.

To rename the button, click
Modify selection and enter a name in the Name text box.

To change the button image,
choose Change Button Image, select a new image and close this dialog box.

Now, you’re ready to start
recording.

You’ll notice a small icon
on your screen, which signifies that you’re recording the macro.

Now, perform the actions you
wish to include in your macro. You can also pause and resume recording if
you want.

The Macro recorder doesn’t
record mouse movements. So, while, you can use the mouse to click commands
and options; to select, copy, paste or move items you must use the keyboard.

To finish recording, click on
the Stop recording button.

Finally, check out your macro
by clicking the macro’s toolbar button or pressing its keyboard shortcut.

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