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How to create macros

If you have tasks in Microsoft Excel that you do repeatedly, you can record a macro to automate those tasks. A macro is an action or a set of actions that you can run as many times as you want. When you create a macro, you are recording your mouse clicks and keystrokes. After you create a macro, you can edit it to make minor changes to the way it works.

Suppose that every month, you create a report for your accounting manager. You want to format the names of the customers with overdue accounts in red, and also apply bold formatting. You can create and then run a macro that quickly applies these formatting changes to the cells you select.

Before you record a macro

Macros and VBA tools can be found on the Developer tab, which is hidden by default, so the first step is to enable it. For more information, see Show the Developer tab.

In the Code group on the Developer tab, click Record Macro.

Optionally, enter a name for the macro in the Macro name box, enter a shortcut key in the Shortcut key box, and a description in the Description box, and then click OK to start recording.

Perform the actions you want to automate, such as entering boilerplate text or filling down a column of data.

On the Developer tab, click Stop Recording.

Take a closer look at the macro

You can learn a little about the Visual Basic programming language by editing a macro.

To edit a macro, in the Code group on the Developer tab, click Macros, select the name of the macro, and click Edit. This starts the Visual Basic Editor.

See how the actions that you recorded appear as code. Some of the code will probably be clear to you, and some of it may be a little mysterious.

Experiment with the code, close the Visual Basic Editor, and run your macro again. This time, see if anything different happens!

Next steps

To learn more about creating macros, see Create or delete a macro.

To learn about how to run a macro, see Run a macro.

Before you record a macro

Make sure the Developer tab is visible on the ribbon. By default, the Developer tab is not visible, so do the following:

Go to Excel > Preferences… > Ribbon & Toolbar.

In the Customize the Ribbon category, in the Main Tabs list, select the Developer check box, and then click Save.

On the Developer tab, click Record Macro.

Optionally, enter a name for the macro in the Macro name box, enter a shortcut key in the Shortcut key box, and a description in the Description box, and then click OK to start recording.

Perform the actions you want to automate, such as entering boilerplate text or filling down a column of data.

On the Developer tab, in the Code group, click Stop Recording.

Take a closer look at the macro

You can learn a little about the Visual Basic programming language by editing a macro.

To edit a macro, in the Developer tab, click Macros, select the name of the macro, and click Edit. This starts the Visual Basic Editor.

See how the actions that you recorded appear as code. Some of the code will probably be clear to you, and some of it may be a little mysterious.

Experiment with the code, close the Visual Basic Editor, and run your macro again. This time, see if anything different happens!

Need more help?

You can always ask an expert in the Excel Tech Community or get support in the Answers community.

How to create macrosMacros are little programs that run within Excel and help automate common repetitive tasks. Macros are one of Excel’s most powerful, yet underutilized feature. Using macros, you can save hours and boost productivity manifold.

In this blog post, we will learn how to create an ultra-simple macro in Excel 2013 to introduce you to the concept. For a more detailed overview of advanced Excel functions, including creating complicated macros, try the comprehensive Excel training course for beginners and intermediate users.

What is a Macro?

A macro can be defined as the recording of a series of tasks. It’s the simplest form of automation – show a software program the steps you follow to get something done, and the software will follow along. When used right, macros can save you hours by automating simple, repetitive tasks.

Marcos in Excel are written in Excel VBA (Visual Basic for Applications). This is a version of Visual Basic (a prominent Microsoft programming language) developed specifically for use in Office-like applications. Creating simple macros – copy a formula from one cell to another, for instance – is fairly easy. Complicated macros require a bit more work. You’ll need to be quite intimate with Excel VBA to automate the more complex tasks in your workflow. You can learn more about these in this advanced Excel 2010 course.

For this tutorial, we will create a very simple macro to get you up to speed with Excel programming and automation.

Step 1: Activate the Developer Toolbar

To write macros, you will need access to the Developer toolbar in the top ribbon. This is hidden by default. To activate it, go to File -> Options -> Customize Ribbon and check the box next to ‘Developer’.

Press OK. You should now see the Developer toolbar in the ribbon.

Step 2: Enable Macros

Macros are disabled by default in Excel. This is to protect you from malicious macros running automatically in downloaded Excel files.

To use macros, you will have to first enable them from the Trust Center. To do this, go to File -> Options -> Trust Center. Click on the ‘Trust Center Settings’ button in this menu.

In this new window, go to ‘Macro Settings’ and select the ‘Enable all macros’ radio button.

Click OK. You can now start using macros in your Excel spreadsheets.

Step 3: Prepare the Spreadsheet

In this tutorial, we will create a very simple macro to change the color, size and boldness of text.

In your spreadsheet, type in some text in any of the cells. We will later record a macro to change the formatting of this text.

Now that our spreadsheet is ready, we can start creating the macro.

Step 4: Create a New Macro

In the ‘Developer’ tab, click on ‘Record Macro’

A pop-up window will ask you to give a name, storage location, shortcut and description for the macro.

Type in whatever you like over here. It helps to be descriptive with your macro titles. You might end up using dozens of macros in a large spreadsheet. Being able to quickly find individual macros by name will save you hours of frustration later. It’s also a good practice to add a description to remind you what the macro actually does.

Two important considerations here:

Shortcut Key: The shortcut key gives you quick access to the macro. Using a custom shortcut is highly recommended – you are using macros to save time, after all. A lot of default Excel functions are locked in to use the CTRL + Letter/Number shortcut format. To avoid conflicts with existing shortcuts, add not at least two keys to the shortcut – something like CTRL + SHIFT + A, or CTRL + A + 1

Store Macro in: In this drop down menu, you can decide where to save the macro. If you choose ‘This Workbook’, the macro will be available for use in the existing workbook only. Choosing ‘New Workbook’ will, as you guessed, save the macro in a new workbook. The most powerful option here is to save the macro in ‘Personal Macro Workbook’. Macros stored in this workbook are available across all your workbooks. Think of it as a central repository for every macro that you create. The actual macro workbook file itself will be hidden the Windows AppData folder, but it will load up automatically when you start Excel, giving you complete access to all macros.

For the purpose of this tutorial, we will give our macro a shortcut of CTRL + SHIFT + A and store it within the same workbook.

Step 5: Record the Macro

Once you’ve entered all the require details, click OK. Your macro is now being recorded.

Select the cell where you entered your text. Switch to the ‘Home’ tab and change its color to red, font size to 18, and font weight to ‘bold’.

When you’re done, click on the ‘Stop Recording’ button in the Developer tab, or hit the small square block at the bottom of the spreadsheet next to ‘Ready’.

You have now successfully recorded an Excel macro!

Step 6: Test the Macro

Now that you’ve recorded your first macro, it’s time to see it live.

Add a few more blocks of text to your spreadsheet, one cell at a time. You might have to change the default formatting back to black font, 11 point font size and normal text.

Once you’ve added the text, simply select any cell and press the shortcut for your macro (CTRL + SHIFT + A). The formatting will immediately change to 18 pt. bold font in red color. You can apply this to each cell at a time, or select multiple cells together.

The formatting changes that would otherwise take you multiple clicks now take just one keystroke.

This is one of the most basic macros you can create. As you can imagine, complex macros can be created to perform very complicated tasks. You can learn more about creating such macros with Excel VBA programming in this Excel training course for advanced topics.

Was this tutorial helpful? We’d love to learn your thoughts and opinions! Share them with us in the comments below.

You can create a macro by writing the code in the VBA editor. In this chapter, you will learn where and how to write the code for a macro.

VBA Objects and Modules

Before you start coding for a Macro, understand the VBA Objects and Modules.

  • Open the macro-enabled workbook with your first macro.
  • Click the DEVELOPER tab on the Ribbon.
  • Click Visual Basic in the Code group.

How to create macros

The VBA editor window opens.

How to create macros

You will observe the following in the Projects Explorer window −

Your macro enabled workbook – MyFirstMacro.xlsm appears as a VBA Project.

All the worksheets and the workbook appear as Microsoft Excel Objects under the project.

Module1 appears under Modules. Your macro code is located here.

Click the View tab on the Ribbon.

Select Code from the dropdown list.

How to create macros

The code of your macro appears.

How to create macros

Creating a Macro by Coding

Next, create a second macro in the same workbook – this time by writing VBA code.

You can do this in two steps −

Insert a command button.

Write the code stating the actions to take place when you click the command button.

Inserting a Command Button

Create a new worksheet.

Click in the new worksheet.

Click the DEVELOPER button on the Ribbon.

Click Insert in the Controls group.

Select the button icon from Form Controls.

How to create macros

  • Click in the worksheet where you want to place the command button.
  • The Assign Macro dialog box appears.

The Visual Basic editor appears.

How to create macros

You will observe the following −

  • A new module – Module2 is inserted in the Project Explorer.
  • Code window with title Module2 (Code) appears.
  • A sub procedure Button1_Click () is inserted in the Module2 code.

Coding the Macro

Your coding is half done by the VBA editor itself.

For example, type MsgBox “Best Wishes to You!” in the sub procedure Button1_Click (). A message box with the given string will be displayed when the command button is clicked.

How to create macros

That’s it! Your macro code is ready to run. As you are aware, VBA code does not require compilation as it runs with an interpreter.

Running the Macro from VBA Editor

You can test your macro code from the VBA editor itself.

Click the Run tab on the Ribbon.

Select Run Sub/UserForm from the dropdown list. The message box with the string you typed appears in your worksheet.

How to create macros

You can see that the button is selected. Click OK in the message box. You will be taken back to the VBA editor.

Running the Macro from Worksheet

You can run the macro that you coded any number of times from the worksheet.

  • Click somewhere on the worksheet.
  • Click the Button. The Message box appears on the worksheet.

How to create macros

You have created a macro by writing VBA code. As you can observe, VBA coding is simple.

Dave W. Shanahan | February 24, 2021 October 24, 2018 | How-To

You can assign a key combination to open any app by using the keyboard in Windows 10. First, create a shortcut on the desktop for the app you want to open, then:

  1. Right click on the desktop shortcut, and select Properties
  2. Change the “Shortcut key,” using a combination of CTRL + ALT + a letter or a number
  3. Click ok, and you’ll be able to open your app using the keyboard combination you assigned
  4. Note that Windows will not alert you to conflicting keyboard combinations used by your other apps, so choose carefully

There are different ways to create shortcuts to get to the app you want in Windows 10. For easy access, you can pin the Windows 10 app to the Start menu, Taskbar, or create a shortcut on the desktop. If the app is something you use on a daily basis in Windows 10, you want to open the app fast. That’s where keyboard macros come in. If you have a Windows 10 PC that lacks a touchscreen or don’t have access to a multi-button mouse, keyboard macros are what you want to use in Windows 10.

What is a macro?

As noted by a Bing search, A macro in computing is a “single instruction that expands automatically into a set of instructions to perform a particular task.” Thus, a keyboard macro would equate to a keyboard shortcut that you type in to perform an action in Windows 10. Much like using CTRL + C to copy, CTRL + V to paste, and CTRL + Z to undo across Windows 10, keyboard macros are meant to save you time doing whatever you need to do.

Let’s take a look a how to create a keyboard macro in Windows 10.

Create a Desktop Shortcut

  1. Open Command Prompt and run as administrator. Click Yes at the UAC (User Account Control) prompt
    How to create macros
  2. In Command Prompt, type (or cut and paste) the following phrase without the quotation marks: “explorer shell:AppsFolder”
    How to create macros
    A folder will open displaying all your Windows 10 apps. It may be easier to find your app if you change the view setting to “Detailed.” Detailed will allow all your apps to be displayed in one column so your app is easier to find.
  3. Right-click on an app and select “Create shortcut.” In this example, I will create a keyboard macro for Arduino IDE. How to create macros
  4. You will see a prompt that says the “Windows can’t create a shortcut here, would you like to create a shortcut on the desktop?” Click Yes.
  5. Once you have completed this step, go to your Windows 10 desktop. Right-click the app shortcut and select Properties.How to create macros
  6. Change the Shortcut key. Here is where you create your keyboard macro. In Windows 10, a keyboard macro needs to start with CTRL + ALT + a letter and/or a number. How to create macros
  7. Click OK when finished.

Another thing to note is that any new software you install might also use your keyboard macros for other in-app functions. For example, when Photoshop Elements is open, “CTRL + ALT + I” brings up the resize menu. Try to remember not to use the same keyboard macro combination twice. Unfortunately, Windows 10 does not alert you if there’s a conflict with a different app that uses the same keyboard macro that you assigned for a different app.

How to create macros

A macro helps improve efficiency when creating documents and spreadsheets, adding or maintaining information, or creating forms for other people to fill out. Microsoft Word and Excel are popular software where people utilize macros to make data entry and retention easier. Macros in Word and Excel are created using the Visual Basic programming language or by recording actions performed.

To create a macro in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel, select from the list below and follow the instruction.

  • Create a macro in Microsoft Word.
  • Create a macro in Microsoft Excel.

Create a macro in Microsoft Word

To create a macro in Microsoft Word, choose how you want to create it, either manually or by recording actions, and follow the steps provided.

Create macro manually with Visual Basic

  1. In Microsoft Word, click the View tab in the menu bar.
  2. Click the Macros option.

How to create macros

  1. In the Macros window, type a name for the new macro in the Macro name text field.
  2. Click the Create button.
  3. The Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications program opens, where you can create the macro by typing the Visual Basic code manually.
  4. When you have completed the creation of the macro, click the Save icon in the menu bar and close the Visual Basic program.

Create macro by recording actions

  1. In Microsoft Word, click the View tab in the menu bar.
  2. Click the arrow below the Macros option and select the Record Macro option.

How to create macros

  1. In the Record Macro window, type a name for the new macro in the Macro name text field.
  2. Click the keyboard icon to assign a key combination to execute the macro.
  3. In the Customize Keyboard window, click in the Press new shortcut key field, then press the combination of keys you want to use for executing the macro in Microsoft Word. For example, you could press the keys Ctrl + Shift + M , and that key combination will be entered into the field automatically.

How to create macros

  1. Click the Assign button in the lower-left corner, then click the Close button.
  2. Recording of the macro begins immediately after clicking the Close button. Perform the actions you want to record and have the macro execute. You can type text, format the text, create a table, add shapes or pictures, and other actions.
  3. When you completed all the actions you want to include in the macro, on the View tab, click the arrow below the Macros option and select Stop Recording.

Create a macro in Microsoft Excel

To create a macro in Microsoft Excel, choose how you want to create it, either manually or by recording actions, and follow the steps provided.

Create macro manually with Visual Basic

  1. In Microsoft Excel, click the View tab in the menu bar.
  2. Click the Macros option.

How to create macros

  1. In the Macros window, type a name for the new macro in the Macro name text field.
  2. Click the Create button.
  3. The Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications program opens, where you can create the macro by typing the Visual Basic code manually.
  4. When you have completed the creation of the macro, click the Save icon in the menu bar and close the Visual Basic program.

Create macro by recording actions

  1. In Microsoft Excel, click the View tab in the menu bar.
  2. Click the arrow below the Macros option and select the Record Macro option.

How to create macros

  1. In the Record Macro window, type a name for the new macro in the Macro name text field.
  2. Click the keyboard icon to assign a key combination to execute the macro.
  3. In the Customize Keyboard window, click in the Press new shortcut key field, then press the combination of keys you want to use for executing the macro in Microsoft Excel. For example, you could press the keys Ctrl + Shift + M , and that key combination will be entered into the field automatically.

How to create macros

  1. Click the Assign button in the lower-left corner, then click the Close button.
  2. Recording of the macro begins immediately after clicking the Close button. Perform the actions you want to record and have the macro execute. You can enter data, format the data, create a chart or graph from the data, add formulas, and other actions.
  3. When you completed all the actions you want to include in the macro, on the View tab, click the arrow below the Macros option and select Stop Recording.