Word 2003: Recording a macro

November 2, 2008

Macros can be used for almost any task in Word that you do repetitively. So if you have to do repetitive formatting in Word 2003, consider recording a macro that automates the procedure using a single keystroke combination.

A recorded macro is like a tape recording—everything you do (keystroke, mouse click, etc.) is recorded, so you should practice the sequence of steps a few times first.

  1. In an open Word 2003 document, go to Tools > Macro > Record New Macro.
  2. On the Record Macro window, type a name for the macro.
  3. Click the Keyboard button to open the Customize Keyboard window.
  4. In the Press new shortcut key field, hold down the Alt key and press another key (e.g. W) at the same time. Alt+W (or whatever key you pressed) displays in the field, and beneath it you should see that it is [unassigned]. (If this key combination is already assigned to something else, then you will have to use a different key combination.)
  5. Click Assign.
  6. Click Close. Your document redisplays with a small floating macro toolbar—the square button is Stop; the other is Pause. Your cursor now has a tiny cassette tape icon attached to it—this shows that you are in recording mode.
  7. Follow the steps of the procedure you practised earlier.
  8. When you have finished, click the Stop button to stop recording.

Now, for any document you have where you need to do the procedure you recorded, you only need to press Alt+W (or whatever your key combination is) to run the macro.

Experiment with macros to improve your efficiency!

[This article was first published in the March 2002 CyberText Newsletter; steps last checked January 2008]

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