Word macros are a lifesaver when you’re short on time. They allow you to perform a series of recorded commands without having to complete each step individually.
For example, you can create a macro that sets your margins, numbers your pages, and prints the document with a single command. Or you can create one that completes more complex tasks.
You simply have to create the macro and record your steps once. Then you can fire up the macro as frequently as you like in other documents. How cool is that!
Create the Macro
Step 1. Macros are hidden within the Developer tab in Word 2010 and Word 2013, so if you don’t have the tab open, you’ll need to open it first.
- Select the “File” tab and “Word Options” within Word 2010/2013. This opens the Word Options dialog box.
- Choose “Customize Ribbon” in the Word Options dialog box.
- Checkmark “Developer” and click “OK.”
Step 2. Select the “Developer” tab, which should now be visible in the ribbon. Choose “Record Macro” from the Code group.
Alternatively, you can press the ALT + F8 keys or click the Macro button on the bottom-left corner of your Word document.
The Record Macro dialog box opens.
Step 3. Name the macro. Your macro name should begin with a letter. Names that begin with symbols or numbers are invalid in Word. A descriptive name is best here, should you ever need to find or edit your macro in the future.
Step 4. Choose where you want the macro stored from the drop-down: In “All Documents (Normal.dotm)” – which allows you to use the macro in any Word document – or a specific document of your choice.
Step 5. Add a description (optional).
Step 6. Choose to:
– Assign the macro to button – jump forward (-OR-)
– Assign the macro to keyboard – jump forward (-OR-)
– Click “OK” to not assign the macro to a button or keyboard shortcut – jump forward
Apply the Macro to a Button
Step 1. Click “Button” under Assign Macro to. The Word Options dialog box will open.
Step 2. Highlight the macro you want to apply a button to and click “Add.” Your macro will be added to the right pane in the dialog box. This action also adds the macro to the Quick Access Toolbar.
Step 3. Customize the macro’s button (optional).
- Simply highlight the macro in the right panel
- Click “Modify” at the bottom of the dialog box. The Modify Button dialog box opens.
- Pick an icon to represent your macro from the available symbols.
- Change the display name to your preferred name.
- Click “OK” to apply the settings. You will be redirected to the Word Options dialog box.
Step 4. Arrange where the macro appears on the list by clicking the “Move up” button (optional).
Step 5. Click “OK” to apply the settings. You will be directed to your document to record the steps for your macro. Skip forward to Record the Macro Steps.
Apply the Macro to Keyboard Shortcut
Step 1. Click “Keyboard” under Assign Macro to. The Customize Keyboard dialog box will open.
- Click inside the Press new shortcut key text box.
- Press a combination of keys ( example, ALT + [ ) that you would like to apply to the macro.
Unused keys will show up as unassigned.
- Click “Assign” to apply the key to your macro.
- Click “Close.”
You will be directed to your document to record the steps for your macro. Skip forward to Record the Macro Steps.
Record the Macro Steps
Step 1. Record the steps you want the macro to perform in your Word document.
For example, to instruct Word to apply page numbers to every page in your document, click the “Insert” tab and choose “Page Number” from the Header and Footer group. In this same recording, you can record additional actions you want the macro to perform, such as to change the page size to legal.
Step 2. To pause the recording or stop the recording altogether, return to the Code group of the Developer tab.
- Select “Pause Recording” to stop recording your commands temporarily or select “Stop Recording” if you are completely done.
- If you selected to pause recording, a “Resume Recording” button will replace the “Pause Recording” button in the Code group. Simply click it to restart your recording.
Run the Word Macro
Running the macro only takes a few seconds, and the process is even shorter if you applied the macro to a button or keyboard shortcut.
How to Run the Macro Without the Button or Keyboard
Step 1. Go to the “Developer” tab and Code group and click the “Merge” button (or press ALT + F8). The Macros dialog box opens.
Step 2. Find and highlight the macro you wish to run, listed under Macro name. If you can’t locate the macro, change the “Macros in” drop-down option to the location where you saved the macro.
Step 3. Click “Run” to use the macro. The recorded steps will be applied to your document.
How to Run the Macro Using a Button or Keyboard Key
If you created a button for your macro, go to the Quick Access Toolbar and click the icon for the macro you created. The macro will be applied to your document.
If you created a keyboard shortcut for your macro, simply press the special keys you assigned to the macro.