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12 Don’t run screaming from macros

Whenever I’ve done training classes for law firms, the biggest bugaboo is always macros.

“Oh, no,” they cry. “That’s waaaaay too advanced for me!”

Um … no. It’s not. I promise.

People have this idea that, if they record a macro and make a mistake, it’s going to so totally screw things up they’ll never get their document fixed.

But if you’re looking to do things faster as your workload continues to pile up, macros can be a great time saver.  So many of the things you have to do repeatedly can be <gasp!> programmed.

And to prove that recording a macro is not such an advanced skill, Vivian Manning at Small City Law Firm Tech has a tutorial called Recording a Simple Word Macro.  She even shows you how to save your macro as a button on your Quick Access Toolbar (What? You’re not using that? You should!).

There, I wrote it – tempting most of you to run screaming from the blog.  Please come back, it’s not nearly as difficult as you imagine.  In fact, recording a simple macro is not difficult at all.  I promise!

All a simple, recorded macro in Word is, is this:

  • You tell Word, by turning on the Record Macro function, that you want it to record all of your Mouse Clicks / Keystrokes, until you turn the Record Macro function off again.
  • You tell Word whether you prefer to ‘run’ the Macro by way of a keyboard shortcut *or* a click of an icon.  All ‘running a macro’ means is forcing Word to replay the keystrokes that you recorded.

That’s all there is to it.  If you’re still reading, I’m going to show you how easy this is, and why you might want to ‘record’ and ‘run’ a macro.  Not run from it…

Click here to see the entire tutorial (with screen shots and everything). Note: Unfortunately, Vivian Manning’s blog is now offline. The Wayback Machine has an archived copy here.

Now, go.  At least try to record a simple macro.  And then come back and tell me how it went in the comments below!