Most people don’t even bother with the more complex functions that Microsoft Word offers, but you’d be surprised by how much more you can do when you learn to use Word macros. They can be difficult to decipher at first, but once you understand, they will come naturally and you’ll be able to create far more complex documents with MS Word. Following is a brief tutorial on how to use Word macros on your computer.
First, you’ll need to understand what Word macros are. Essentially a macro is created for your own convenience, and involves a series of commands that Word will execute once recorded. You can use the macro recorder in Word to achieve the desired results or you can go the more complicated route and use the Visual Basic Editor. Whichever way you choose, Word macros can help you to get jobs done quicker in Microsoft Word and can teach you more about the software itself. After all, Word is an expensive program, and you might as well get your money’s worth.
Microsoft Word comes with hundreds of macros already in place, though you can create others. Nearly 1,000 commands wait at your fingertips, and the only obstacle is figuring out what those commands are and what they do. Most of those commands have pre-assigned shortcut keys for your convenience or can be found under one of the toolbars on MS Word. As you get to know your Word software, however, you will discover new commands you want to create, which is why you can set up your own Word macros.
You can explore the macro options in Microsoft Word by clicking on Tools > Macros > Macros. I would caution you, however, from trying anything with which you aren’t familiar. Recording new macros, for instance, can make your life miserable if you use the wrong set of commands. Once you’ve created a macro, every time you happen to type that combination of keys, the Word macro will kick in and execute the command.
To familiarize yourself with the macros available in your Word program, click on Tools > Macros > Macros, or hit ALT + F8 for the shortcut. You’ll see the macro dialog box appear. Click on the drop-down menu box next to “Macros In:” and select “Word Commands” to view the macros already available through MS Word organized alphabetically, from “AcceptAllChangesInDoc” to “WW7_ToolsOptions”. Under the “Macros In:” box you’ll see a field labeled “Description”, and in that box you can read what the Word command does.
Before you create a new Word macro, make sure that it doesn’t already exist. You can complicate your life easily by creating duplicate macros and you’ll have needless macros that will only make it difficult to create more useful ones. Ahead of time, you’ll need to decide on the combination of keys that you want to record and make sure that they haven’t already been used.
Once you’re ready to create a Word macro, you’ll select Tools > Macros > Record New Macro and wait for the dialog box to appear. You’ll see a field in which to type the name of your new macro, the place in which to store it and the description for the macro. Make sure you enter a description you will understand so that you can go back later and remind yourself. You should also make sure to select the document name if you don’t want Word to store the macro for future use in all documents.
After you are done, simply record the Word macro and press stop when you are finished. You can also pause this process, but be sure you remember where you paused it so that your combination of commands will make sense when you try to use it.
Word macros aren’t all that difficult once you understand the process of creating them. If you aren’t sure how exactly you want to go about creating macros, practice by storing recorded macros in a single document so that they won’t affect your other work.