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Record a Macro in Word – Instructions and Video Lesson

/ / Latest, Microsoft, Office 2013, Office 2016, Office 365, Word 2013, Word 2016
Record a Macro in Word - Instructions and Video Lesson: A picture of a user naming a new macro in the “Record Macro” dialog box.

Record a Macro in Word – Overview

            You can easily record a macro in Word. Macros are small programs that record your keystrokes as you perform a task. It then saves the actions you perform as a Visual Basic Module, which is a type of program file. When you run the macro later, it repeats your keystrokes, thus repeating your actions. This is why they are great for automating repetitive tasks.

            For example, you could record a macro in Word that places your company’s name and address information in the upper-left corner of a document. To do this, you record a macro in Word as you enter the information once. You can then run the recorded macro later to do it again in future documents. It repeats the exact same keystrokes you entered, instantly repeating the process.

            You can see advanced options for creating macros on the “Developer” tab in the Ribbon, if it is enabled. You can also use the “Macros” button group on the “View” tab in the Ribbon to both record and play recorded macros. This lesson shows you how to record a macro in Word using the commands in this button group in the Ribbon.

            To record a macro in Word, click the “View” tab in the Ribbon. Then click the “Macros” button in the “Macros” button group. From the drop-down menu that appears, select the “Record Macro…” command. Doing this then opens the “Record Macro” dialog box. In the “Record Macro” dialog box, enter a name for your new macro into the “Macro name” text box. Note that macro names cannot contain spaces!

Record a Macro in Word - Instructions and Video Lesson: A picture of a user naming a new macro in the “Record Macro” dialog box.

Record a Macro in Word – Instructions and Video Lesson: A picture of a user naming a new macro in the “Record Macro” dialog box.

            Then select the template or document to which to attach the macro from the “Store macro in:” drop-down. It defaults to the “Normal” macro-compatible document template (.dotm), which is the document template upon which all new macro-enabled documents are based. A macro can only work if it is attached to the actual document in which it is used, or if it is attached to the document template from which the current document was produced. So, if the macro is one you want for all documents that use macros, then selecting the “All documents (Normal.dotm)” template choice is a good idea! Otherwise, just select the template or file to which to attach the macro. Then click the “OK” button to start recording.

            While recording your macro, you cannot use your mouse very much. You should minimize your mouse movements during the recording of the macro. Instead, try to use the keyboard as much as possible. After recording your macro, click the “Macros” button in the “Macros” button group on the “View” tab in the Ribbon. Select the “Stop Recording” command to stop recording the macro.

            Also, if necessary, you can choose the “Pause Recording” command from the button’s drop-down menu to pause the macro while recording. You can click the “Macro” button, and then select the “Resume Recorder” command, to resume recording the macro when you want to continue.

Record a Macro in Word – Instructions

  1. To record a macro in Word, click the “View” tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Then click the “Macros” button in the “Macros” button group.
  3. From the drop-down menu that appears, select the “Record Macro…” command to open the “Record Macro” dialog box.
  4. In the “Record Macro” dialog box, enter a name for your new macro in the “Macro name” text box. Note that macro names cannot contain spaces!
  5. Then select the template or document to which to attach the macro from the “Store macro in:” drop-down.
  6. It defaults to the “Normal” macro-compatible document template (.dotm), which is the document template upon which all new macro-enabled documents are based.
  7. A macro can only work if it is attached to the actual document in which it is used or if it is attached to the document template from which the current document was produced.
  8. To create a macro for all documents that can use macros, select the “All documents (Normal.dotm)” template choice.
  9. Alternatively, select the template or file to which to attach the macro.
  10. Then click the “OK” button to start recording.
  11. While recording your macro, you cannot use your mouse very much. You should minimize your mouse movements during the recording of the macro. Instead, try to use the keyboard as much as possible.
  12. To stop recording the macro, click the “Macros” button in the “Macros” button group on the “View” tab in the Ribbon and select the “Stop Recording” command.
  13. Optionally, to pause recording of a macro, choose the “Pause Recording” command from the “Macros” drop-down button.
  14. To resume recording a paused macro, click the “Resume Recorder” command in the “Macros” drop-down button of the “View” tab.

Record a Macro in Word – Video Lesson

            The following video lesson, titled “Recording Macros,” shows you how to record a macro in Word. This video lesson is from our complete Word tutorial, titled “Mastering Word Made Easy v.2016-2013.”

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