Making Macros Readily Available

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 18, 2017)

Many users have several macros to which they would like to assign shortcut keys. However, as you acquire more macros, it becomes difficult to remember the shortcut keys. It would be nice to have a list of macros with their shortcut keys readily available. It would be even nicer to have such a list and have the option of clicking the shortcut key to run the macro.

The solution is a two-step process. First, create a Macros menu, and second add a dozen or so of your most commonly used macros. If done with some foresight, you can type three keys to run any commonly used macro.

For simplicity, suppose you have the following macros, many of which have appeared in other issues of WordTips: AddParens, AddQuotes, EmailCleanup, and TwoSpaces. Make sure that the template containing your macros is loaded into Word, and then create a Macros menu, as follows.

  1. Double-click a blank spot on a toolbar or choose Customize from the Tools menu. Either way, Word displays the Customize dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Commands tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Commands tab of the Customize dialog box

  4. In the Categories list, choose the New Menu option. (This should be the last option in the Categories list.)
  5. In the Commands list you will see one option: New Menu. Drag this option to the existing Word menu bar and drop it where you want the new menu to appear. A good spot is right next to the Tools menu, but anywhere on the menu bar will work.
  6. Right-click the new menu, on the menu bar. Word displays a Context menu that shows the properties of this particular menu.
  7. Change the information in the Name box to "&Macros", without the quotes. The use of the ampersand (&) allows you to specify what Word should use as the hot key for the menu. In this case, you can later access the menu by using the Alt+M key combination.

You now have a Macros menu, and you could end your customizations. It won't do you much good, however, because your Macros menu, while available on the menu bar, is empty. To put the macros mentioned above on the menu, do the following with the Customize dialog box still visible:

  1. In the Categories list, choose the Macros option. All your macros appear on the right side of the dialog box, in the Commands list.
  2. Drag the macros, one at a time, to your new Macros menu. When you do, the new menu drops down and you can move the mouse to specify where the macro should appear on the menu. Release the mouse button when you are satisfied with the position of the macro on the menu. When completed, all of the macros are on the menu.
  3. Right-click each of the macros, in turn, and change the Name property to something more descriptive. For instance, you could use Add&Parens, Add&Quotes, &EmailCleanup, and &TwoSpaces for the macros mentioned at the beginning of this tip. (Remember that the ampersand specifies the hot key to activate the macro from the menu.)
  4. Click on Close in the Customize dialog box.

Now you have several benefits. By typing Alt+M, the Macros menu opens. At that point, you can look to see the name of any macro and the letter that will activate it. The letter after the ampersand (step 3, above) is underlined and activates the macro. You also have the option of using the arrow keys to select a menu option, or clicking on the menu option as you would with any other menu.

If you decide to solely use the keyboard shortcuts, within a short time you will remember that typing Alt+M, P runs the AddParens macro; Alt+M, Q runs the AddQuotes macro; Alt+M, E runs the EmailCleanup macro, and Alt+M, T runs the TwoSpaces macro.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (812) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Locking Worksheet Names

Want to stop other people from changing the names of your worksheets? You can provide the desired safeguard by using the ...

Discover More

Locking the Position of Tools

Don't want your toolbar tools to move around on you? You might think you are out of luck, but here is a way you can make sure ...

Discover More

How Operators are Evaluated

Operators are used in formulas to instruct Excel what to do to arrive at a result. Not all operators are evaluated in the ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Adding Your Own Menu Items

You can customize Word to your heart's content. One way to customize the program is by adding options to the Word menus. It ...

Discover More

Problem with Menus Crashing Word

What do you do if, one day, one of your Word menus suddenly stops working and actually crashes the program? Here's the ...

Discover More

Resetting Word Menus

Word allows you to customize the program's menus as much as you want. At some point, however, you may want the menus to ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 + 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.