Tame your computer: button up a macro


In her weekly series for Cambridge Network members, software training expert Karen Roem offers handy tips to help you 'Tame your computer'.

This week she shows how to assign a macro to a button on your toolbar ...

Recently we talked about automating repetitive tasks* by creating macros. Learning to use macros is well worth the effort, as it will save you the time it would take to manually perform the same operations.

Although Microsoft Office** provides several methods for running macros (by either pressing the assigned shortcut key combination or using the Tools, Macro, Macros command) the program also lets you assign a macro to a toolbar button.

Let's say you want to add a button to your toolbar and assign the 'print current page' Word macro we created the other day to that button.

Here's how:

1. Choose the Tools, Customize command to open the Customize dialogue box.

2. On the Commands tab of the Customize dialog box, select the Macros option in the Categories list.

3. Find your macro in the Commands list, then press and hold down the mouse button and drag the new button to the immediate left of any button on the existing toolbars. (If you drag it to the far right of the toolbar, the mouse pointer will display an X and when you let go of the mouse button it won't add the new button.)

You now have a button with a wacky name such as 'Normal.NewMacros.PrintCurrentPage'. Here's how to rename it:

4. Make sure you still have the Customize dialogue box open. (If necessary choose the Tools, Customize command.) Right-click the macro button on your toolbar.

5. Select the Name option on the shortcut menu that appears and type a new name. (For instance 'Print Current Page'.)

Next, why not get carried away a bit and assign an icon to your new button? Here's how:

6. Select the Change Button Image option on the shortcut menu.

7. Click any of the icons displayed.

8. Click on the Close button to close the Customize dialogue box.

Your macro button now has a descriptive name as well as an icon of your choice. And best of all, when you click it, it runs your macro!

As your macros grow in number, you may wish to create a special Macros toolbar from which all or a number of them can be accessed. But let's save that for some other time.

PS - To remove a toolbar button select the Tools, Customize command and simply drag the button away from your toolbar.

* See

** Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2000. Most of what is covered however will also apply to earlier and later versions.

  • Karen Roem is running a special training session to teach you how to 'Excel with Excel' in Cambridge on Tuesday, 15th March - discounted for Cambridge Network members. More details from:http://www.roem.co.uk/events.html

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    17 February 2005

    Karen Roem offers software training and support through her company Roem Ltd.

    Contact her by email Karen@roem.co.uk or visit her website at www.roem.co.uk.

    Karen Roem
    Microsoft Office-ionado

    Roem Ltd – software training and support