Macros are basic bits of programming that allow you to press a quick button or keyboard shortcut to trigger a pre-recorded action to automate a repeating task, today I’m going to show you how to make a macro in Word easily so you can make your work easier.
What is a macro?
A macro is really just a recording of a series of button presses, clicks, and typing. When you record a macro, you simply hit record, perform the steps you want to automate, stop recording, let Word create the schedule for you, and then assign the macro to a button or keyboard shortcut. Whenever you want to perform that series of actions in the future, you simply activate the macro.
Reasons to learn How to make a macro in Word easily
It is importante to learn how to make a macro in word easily, because you can use macros for all sorts of things. The possibilities are practically unlimited. For example, you can set up a macro that creates a new footer with your company information, formats the text however you like, and even inserts page numbers. So why not do this using a template with some boilerplate text? Well you can. But what happens when you have an existing document that you want to add those things to?
You can also create macros to insert pre-formatted tables of a specific size, search for a specific paragraph style, or simply insert text.
It is clear then the benefits of knowing how to make a macro in Word easily.
We’re going to use the very basic example of inserting text to walk you through how to record a macro. Use your imagination and experiment. You’ll be amazed at how much you can do with them.
How to record a macro
First, create a new, blank Word document to work on. You’ll be able to save your macros to a system-wide database, so you don’t need to create new ones for every document you work on. In the blank document, switch to the “View” tab on the ribbon, click the “Macros” dropdown menu, and then click the “Record Macro” command.
Next, give your macro an appropriate name and write a short description. This is an important step, especially if you plan to do a lot of macros. For our example, we are going to create a kind of text insert that writes the following quotes from Shakespeare:
1. “Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”
2. “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”
3. “Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head.”
4. “Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”
5. “Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.”
Choose whether you want to assign your macro to a button or keyboard shortcut. And finally, choose where to store your macro. The default is to store it in Word’s master template (a file called Normal.dotm) so you can use it in all your documents. But, you can also just store it in the current document if you want. Click the “OK” button when you are done.
I’ll show you the process of creating both the button and the keyboard. And keep in mind that you can always click the “Macros” menu button and edit these settings later if you want to change them. Continue learning how to make a macro in Word easily.
If you choose the “Button” option, a screen appears allowing you to choose where to store the new button. The default is to place it on the Quick Access Toolbar. Click the macro name in the left column and then click the “Add” button to add the macro to the list of toolbar buttons shown on the right. When you are finished, click the “OK” button.
If you’re assigning your macro to a keyboard shortcut, you’ll see the following screen instead. Make sure the macro name is selected in the “Commands” panel, click inside the “Press new shortcut key” box, and then press the keyboard combo you want to use. You can choose almost any combination of Ctrl, Alt, Shift, and any other primary key, but keep in mind that you’ll need one that isn’t mapped to a Word or Windows/macOS shortcut.
For our Shakespeare macro, we’re going to hold down Ctrl, then press L, release L, and then press T, all without releasing Ctrl. The resulting shortcut is expressed as “Ctrl + L, T”. That multi-letter expansion is a way to avoid conflicts with common default shortcuts. When you are done, click the “Assign” button and then click the “Close” button.
Now, you’re back in Word’s main writing interface. The program is in recording mode, so do whatever you want. You can click buttons, open menus, insert objects, whatever you want. Word watches and records what you are doing as a macro. And don’t worry about taking your time. Word doesn’t really duplicate these actions at the rate you’re performing them. Instead, it takes the actual actions you take and creates a script to execute them.
For our example, we are simply repeating our quotes:
When you’re done, open the “Macros” drop-down menu again, and then click the “Stop Recording” command.
That is. Word creates a macro from your recording and saves it as a keyboard shortcut or button (whatever you decide).
To run the macro, click the button you assigned or press the keyboard shortcut you defined. If you chose the button option, you will see the macro button in the “Quick Access Toolbar” at the top of the window.
Summary of How to make a macro in Word easily
Obviously, this is a super simple example. You can use Word to create quite sophisticated macros. Power users can even manually program their own (or manually modify their recorded macros). But with this guide you should at least start creating some basic macros.
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