Do you always click the same menu items?
Maybe you need to perform the same tasks over and over again when working with MS Word?
If you answered yes to those questions, then you’re in for a treat. In Word, many routine tasks can be easily automated with the help of the built-in macro recorder.
Make no mistake about it: Macros can go beyond recording simple command sequences. There are many other complicated uses for Macros. But don’t worry, we’ll focus on the simple and straightforward techniques that you can use right after reading this article.
The steps are explained using MS Word 2010. The procedure is similar in all versions of Word – you just have to pay attention to the names of the options and their placement in the menus as they might differ a bit. To get started, open the document you want to work with in MS Word.
To Work with the Macro Recorder
In Word 2010, go to “File > Options” and then “Customize Ribbon”. On the right side of the window, tick the check box beside “Developer Tools”, and then click “OK”. You will then see a new “Developer Tools” tab.
Now you can go ahead and record a simple macro. Let’s take printing for example. If you ever want to print using default printer and print on the PDF printer, instead of awkwardly changing the output and printing options every time, you can draw the appropriate command sequences by following the steps below:
Step 1: In the “Developer Tools” click on “Macro.” In older versions of Word, you will find the function under “Tools > Macro Recording.”
Step 2: Under “Macro Name,” just put a meaningful tag or designation to the task you want to perform. On our case, it’s changing the printing and option settings (default printer to PDF or vice versa). Please note that the name cannot contain spaces. Other special characters should also be avoided as it may cause a malfunction.
Under “Store Macro In,” you can usually use the default “All Documents (Normal.dotm).” This macro is stored in the “Normal.dotm” file and is therefore in all new Word files. But you can also choose a different file you just opened. In this case, the macro is stored only in it and is only available when it is open. For this option you should do is decide if you need the macro only in this file or copy it to another PC.
Step 3: Click “OK” to start recording. Then go to “File > Print”, set the desired printer and select “Settings,” and pick the options you want. Finally, click “Print”. Once done, switch to the tab “Developer Tools” and click “Stop Recording”
Step 4: Finally, you should check whether the macro recorded properly. To do this, go to “Developer Tools” and click on “Macros”. This will open a window where you click on the macro name assigned in step 2, and then click “Run”. Word should now perform the activities carried out during the recording steps automatically. If this is not the case, just repeat steps 2 and 3 and test the macro again.